An Introduction to the Bulwer-Lytton Contest for Bad Fiction Writing
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Just as there is a Spiel des Jahres for the best game of the year, so in the literary world there is a contest for the worst opening sentence to a novel every year: it's called the Bulwer-Lytton contest. The catch is that these sentences are not from actual novels - they are specifically made up for the contest.

This Geeklist is in honour of my friend Endersgame, who recently passed 10,000 thumbs up - quite an accomplishment. He's been as creative as some of the people who came up with the winning entries in the Bulwyer-Lytton contest (www.bulwer-lytton.com). The theme of this list also complements Ender's recent list: "Back to School: World History According to Student Bloopers" (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/34606)

I hope you'll enjoy these (I've selected my favourites), and maybe some session reporters out there can take notes

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1. Board Game: Destination New York [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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The 2008 winner: Garrison Spik

"Theirs was a New York love, a checkered taxi ride burning rubber, and like the city their passion was open 24/7, steam rising from their bodies like slick streets exhaling warm, moist, white breath through manhole covers stamped 'Forged by DeLaney Bros., Piscataway, N.J.' "
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2. Board Game: The Downfall of Pompeii [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:446]
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Gerald began--but was interrupted by a piercing whistle which cost him ten percent of his hearing permanently, as it did everyone else in a ten-mile radius of the eruption, not that it mattered much because for them "permanently" meant the next ten minutes or so until buried by searing lava or suffocated by choking ash--to pee.

Jim Gleeson, Madison, WI (2007 Winner)
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3. Board Game: Columbo Detective Game [Average Rating:5.50 Overall Rank:12723]
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Detective Bart Lasiter was in his office studying the light from his one small window falling on his super burrito when the door swung open to reveal a woman whose body said you've had your last burrito for a while, whose face said angels did exist, and whose eyes said she could make you dig your own grave and lick the shovel clean.

Jim Guigli, Carmichael, CA (2006 Winner)
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4. Board Game: Cheesy Parcheesy [Average Rating:5.75 Unranked]
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They had but one last remaining night together, so they embraced each other as tightly as that two-flavor entwined string cheese that is orange and yellowish-white, the orange probably being a bland Cheddar and the white . . . Mozzarella, although it could possibly be Provolone or just plain American, as it really doesn't taste distinctly dissimilar from the orange, yet they would have you believe it does by coloring it differently.

Mariann Simms, Wetumpka, AL (2003 Winner)
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5. Board Game: Alfredo's Food Fight [Average Rating:5.72 Overall Rank:11254]
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The corpse exuded the irresistible aroma of a piquant, ancho chili glaze enticingly enhanced with a hint of fresh cilantro as it lay before him, coyly garnished by a garland of variegated radicchio and caramelized onions, and impishly drizzled with glistening rivulets of vintage balsamic vinegar and roasted garlic oil; yes, as he surveyed the body of the slain food critic slumped on the floor of the cozy, but nearly empty, bistro, a quick inventory of his senses told corpulent Inspector Moreau that this was, in all likelihood, an inside job.

--Bob Perry, Milton, Massachusetts (1998 Winner)
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6. Board Game: Bottle Topps [Average Rating:5.14 Overall Rank:14556]
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The moment he laid eyes on the lifeless body of the nude socialite sprawled across the bathroom floor, Detective Leary knew she had committed suicide by grasping the cap on the tamper-proof bottle, pushing down and twisting while she kept her thumb firmly pressed against the spot the arrow pointed to, until she hit the exact spot where the tab clicks into place, allowing her to remove the cap and swallow the entire contents of the bottle, thus ending her life.

-- Artie Kalemeris, Fairfax, Virginia (1997 Winner)
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7. Board Game: Short Circuit: The Computer Energy Game [Average Rating:4.33 Unranked]
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As the fading light of a dying day filtered through the window blinds, Roger stood over his victim with a smoking .45, surprised at the serenity that filled him after pumping six slugs into the bloodless tyrant that mocked him day after day, and then he shuffled out of the office with one last look back at the shattered computer terminal lying there like a silicon armadillo left to rot on the information superhighway.

--Larry Brill, Austin, Texas (1994 Winner)
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8. Board Game: Best Number Game Ever! [Average Rating:4.40 Unranked]
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She wasn't really my type, a hard-looking but untalented reporter from the local cat box liner, but the first second that the third-rate representative of the fourth estate cracked open a new fifth of old Scotch, my sixth sense said seventh heaven was as close as an eighth note from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, so, nervous as a tenth grader drowning in eleventh-hour cramming for a physics exam, I swept her into my longing arms, and, humming "The Twelfth of Never," I got lucky on Friday the thirteenth.

--Wm. W. "Buddy" Ocheltree, Port Townsend, Washington (1993 Winner)
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9. Board Game: Iron Chef Board Game: The Ultimate Cooking Challenge [Average Rating:4.75 Unranked]
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As the newest Lady Turnpot descended into the kitchen wrapped only in her celery-green dressing gown, her creamy bosom rising and falling like a temperamental souffle, her tart mouth pursed in distaste, the sous-chef whispered to the scullery boy, "I don't know what to make of her."
--Laurel Fortuner, Montendre, France (1992 Winner)
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10. Board Game: Connect the Stars [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
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Professor Frobisher couldn't believe he had missed seeing it for so long--it was, after all, right there under his nose--but in all his years of research into the intricate and mysterious ways of the universe, he had never noticed that the freckles on his upper lip, just below and to the left of the nostril, partially hidden until now by a hairy mole he had just removed a week before, exactly matched the pattern of the stars in the Pleides, down to the angry red zit that had just popped up where he and his colleagues had only today discovered an exploding nova.

--Ray C. Gainey, Indianapolis, Indiana (1989 Winner)
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11. Board Game: Auto Race [Average Rating:2.50 Unranked]
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Like an expensive sports car, fine-tuned and well-built, Portia was sleek, shapely, and gorgeous, her red jumpsuit molding her body, which was as warm as the seatcovers in July, her hair as dark as new tires, her eyes flashing like bright hubcaps, and her lips as dewy as the beads of fresh rain on the hood; she was a woman driven--fueled by a single accelerant--and she needed a man, a man who wouldn't shift from his views, a man to steer her along the right road, a man like Alf Romeo.

--Rachel E. Sheeley, Williamsburg, Indiana (1988 Winner)
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12. Board Game: Chieftain, An Assault Series Module [Average Rating:6.89 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.89 Unranked]
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The lovely woman-child Kaa was mercilessly chained to the cruel post of the warrior-chief Beast, with his barbarous tribe now stacking wood at her nubile feet, when the strong, clear voice of the poetic and heroic Handsomas roared, "Flick your Bic, crisp that chick, and you'll feel my steel through your last meal."

--Steven Garman, Pensacola, Florida (1984 Winner)
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13. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.35 Overall Rank:4]
"L'├ętat, c'est moi."
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Roger's Reviews: check out my reviews page, right here on BGG!
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One of my favorites, although I cannot find an attribution:

It came to him in a cocaine rush as he took the Langley exit that if Aldrich had told Filipov about Hancock only Tulfengian could have known that the photograph which Wagner had shown to Maximov on the jolting S-bahn was not the photograph of Kessler that Bradford had found at the dark, sinister house in the Schillerstrasse the day that Straub told Percival that the man on the bridge had not been Aksakov but Paustovsky, which meant that is was not Kleist but Kruger that Cherensky had met in the bleak, wintry Grunewald and that, therefore, only Frau Epp could have known that Muller had followed Droysen to the steamy, aromatic cafe in the Beethovenstrasse where he told Buerger that Todorov had known since the Liebermann affair that McIntyre had not met Stoltz at the Goerlitzer Bahnhof but instead had met Sommer at the cavernous Anhalter Bahnhof.

(Winner, Spy Fiction category, Bulwer Lytton contest)
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14. Board Game: Dealer's Choice [Average Rating:5.84 Overall Rank:8741]
Just call me Erik
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As he stared at her ample bosom, he daydreamed of the dual Stromberg carburetors in his vintage Triumph Spitfire, highly functional yet pleasingly formed, perched prominently on top of the intake manifold, aching for experienced hands, the small knurled caps of the oil dampeners begging to be inspected and adjusted as described in chapter seven of the shop manual.


Dan McKay, Fargo, ND (2005 Winner)

How could you not include this one?!
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15. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:49]
Boris Dvorkin
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I find that a lot of the entries are too cleverly ironic; a truly incompetent writer could never have written them. My favorite entry of all time is this one:

"Racing through space at unimaginable speeds, Capt. Dimwell could only imagine how fast his spaceship was going."

Gary Smith, Florissant, CO

That is hilarious, and believably bad.
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