These are the 10 winners of this year's Bulwer-Lytton contest, wherein one
writes only the first line of a bad novel. (Victorian author Edward George
Bulwer-Lytton is famous for writing the novel that began "It was a dark and
10. As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he were ever to break wind in
the echo chamber, he would never hear the end of it.
9. Just beyond the Narrows the river widens.
8. With a curvaceous figure that Venus would have envied, a tanned,
unblemished oval face framed with lustrous thick brown hair, deep azure-blue
eyes fringed with long black lashes, perfect teeth that vied for
competition, and a small straight nose, Marilee had a beauty that defied
7. Andre, a simple peasant, had only one thing on his mind as he crept along
the east wall: Andre creep... Andre creep... Andre creep.
6. Stanislaus Smedley, a man always on the cutting edge of narcissism, was
about to give his body and soul to a back-alley sex-change surgeon to become
the woman he loved.
5. Although Ellen had an abnormal fear of mice, it did not keep her from
eking out a living at a local pet store.
4. Stanley looked quite bored and somewhat detached, but then penguins often
3. Like an overripe beefsteak tomato rimmed with cottage cheese, the
corpulent remains of Santa Claus lay dead on the hotel floor.
2. Mike Hardware was the kind of private eye who didn't know the meaning of
the word fear, a man who could laugh in the face of danger and spit in the
eye of death - in short, a moron with suicidal tendencies.
AND THE WINNER IS...
1. The sun oozed over the horizon, shoved aside darkness, crept along
the greensward, and, with sickly fingers, pushed through the castle window,
revealing the pillaged princess, hand at throat, crown asunder, gaping in
frenzied horror at the sated, sodden amphibian lying beside her,
disbelieving the magnitude of the frog's deception, screaming madly, "You