Nicole Steadman / EyeEm

"1993, it is the future. Acid rain had destroyed civilization."

May 04, 2016 02:00 PM

Some backstory: The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest is a parodic fiction contest started in 1982 by Professor Scott E. Rice of the English Department at San Jose State University, the goal of which is to write the worst possible opening sentence for a novel.

It’s named after English novelist and playwright Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, who coined the much-maligned line, “It was a dark and stormy night” in the opening sentence of his 1830 novel Paul Clifford. The contest has expanded into multiple subcategories since its inception, so much so that in 2001, author Adam Cadre created the Lyttle Lytton contest, which aims for the shortest worst opening sentence.

Cadre just announced the 2016 winners on his site. Here are some of our favorites.

It all started when my topaz eyes looked up into his soft emerald ones. – Shannah McGill

1993, it is the future. Acid rain had destroyed civilization. – Eric Bauer

Gunther sashayed across the street one day and heard the cry of a gun. – Daria Bates

The boy had a bounce in his step and a certain marsupiality of the face; we called him Kanga. But the girl, oh ho ho ho the girl, her we just called Jennifer the Bitch. – credited simply to “Dylan”

"Good heavens," Jonathan murmured when he looked at the sky, for the heavens he saw were not good at all. – Luke Fowler

It was a time of darkness in the land of Gath-ka’noug. But then, out of the darkness, there shone a brilliant light. And the name of that light was: Horick the Elf. – Marc Silcox

Her eyes were like deep, green pools of eyeball liquid. – Alexa Silverman

The nights were getting longer and the days were getting shorter, and on the plane, there was a bomb! – Gareth Williams

There’s a category for fictitious author’s notes as well, from which the following is drawn:
The reason, you ask? The reason, I say, that you’re going to love this book, well, it’s simple. You’re going to love this book because I’m a f—— wordsmith. You’re welcome.

Agent Felicia Stone was tough and she was smart, but she still had the emotions of a woman. – Ax Hubs

Lastly, there’s a “found” category, which submits real-life quotes. Donald Trump should have his own category, but the best is probably this gem:
There’s something going on, and it’s bad.

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