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And The Worst First Line In A Novel In 2007 Goes To....

Bulwer-Lytton

The results of the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest have been announced and they're not pleasant!

The contest invites writers to submit the worst possible first line of what we assume is an imaginary novel.

This year's winner was Jim Gleeson, with the following entry:

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.


The runner up was from Scott Palmer.

The Barents sea heaved and churned like a tortured animal in pain, the howling wind tearing packets of icy green water from the shuddering crests of the waves, atomizing it into mist that was again laid flat by the growing fury of the storm as Kevin Tucker switched off the bedside light in his Tuba City, Arizona, single-wide trailer and by the time the phone woke him at 7:38, had pretty much blown itself out with no damage.

The awards also have subject sections:

In the Adventure category:

As the hippo's jaws clamped on Henry's body he noted the four huge teeth badly in need of a clean, preferably with one of those electric sonic toothbrushes, and he reflected that his name would be immortalized by his unusual death, since hippo killings are not a daily occurrence, at least not in the high street of Chipping Sodbury.
Tim Lafferty

The Winner in the Children's Literature category:


Danny, the little Grizzly cub, frolicked in the tall grass on this sunny Spring morning, his mother keeping a watchful eye as she chewed on a piece of a hiker they had encountered the day before.
Dave McKenzie

The Winner in the Detective category:

I'd been tailing this guy for over an hour while he tried every trick in the book to lose me: going down side streets, doubling back, suddenly veering into shop doorways, jumping out again, crossing the street, looking for somewhere to make the drop, and I was going to be there when he did it because his disguise as a postman didn't have me fooled for a minute.
Bob Millar

The Winner in the Fantasy Fiction category:

Lady Guinevere heard it distinctly, a sharp slap, as if a gauntlet had been thrown, and yet it was hardly plausible that she, perched delicately on the back of her cantering steed, should be challenged to ride faster, since protocol determined that Arthur should ride in front, then she, then Lancelot, for that was the order prescribed by Merlin, ever since he invented the carousel.
Celine Shinbutsu

The Winner in the Historical Fiction category:

Samson looked in the mirror and, when he saw what a fantastic haircut Delilah had given him, he went weak at the knees.
Neil Prowd

The Winner for Romance:

As her quivering lips met his, and her eyelashes fluttered softly on his sweating cheek, Dr Robbins reflected, "I didn't realize she had upper dentures . . . in fact, her slippery plastic palate reminds me of going down a waterslide that hasn't been properly chlorinated, as evidenced by the distinct nitrous and sulfurous emanations, or could it be sinus trouble?"
Philip Bateman

The Winner for Science Fiction:

What a pity Dave was too young to have seen "2001: A Space Odyssey," for he might have been able to predict what would happen next, when the ape standing next to the big black slab picked up the tapir bone.
Ann Medlock

The Winner in the Western category:

The easy and comforting roll of the saddle was second nature to Luke, and as he gazed off into the distant setting sun, he wondered whether he had enough change for one more ride at the supermarket before he had to return to the home.
Glenn Lawrie

There are many more, including the runners up in all of the sections, and dishonorable mentions at:

http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/

1st August 2007

 

 
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