The 2022 Winners of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest

The premise of the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest is to “compose opening sentences to the worst of all possible novels.” As such, the sentence itself doesn’t have to be bad, but is designed to set up a story that will make you dread the rest of the book. And those books don’t exist. More than 5,000 entries came in for the 40th edition of the contest. This year’s top prize is by John Farmer of Aurora, Colorado.

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I knew she was trouble the second she walked into my 24-hour deli, laundromat, and detective agency, and after dropping a load of unmentionables in one of the heavy-duty machines (a mistake that would soon turn deadly) she turned to me, asking for two things: find her missing husband and make her a salami on rye with spicy mustard, breaking into tears when I told her I couldn’t help—I was fresh out of salami.

Whew. In this case, the sentence it was bad. The Grand Panjandrum’s Special Award went to Brent Guernsey of Springfield, Virginia, for this horrible pun.

And so the two pachyderms with the same first name met, and they formed the jazz duo legend known as the Elephants Gerald.

You have to wonder what could possibly come after that, but the sentence deserves an award just for beginning an entire book with the word “and.” There are plenty of other entries recognized as winners and dishonorable mentions in various categories (Adventure, Children’s & Young Adult Literature, Crime & Detective, Dark & Stormy, Fantasy & Horror, Historical Fiction, Purple Prose, Romance, Science Fiction, Vile Puns, Western, and Odious Outliers) that you can read here. -via Metafilter

See also: Winners from previous years.

Source: neatorama

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