It’s that time again–not just for a Common Room linkfest, but for the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest Results, where, in honor of Edward George Bulwer-Lytton’s “It was a dark and stormy ni
ght”, judges have chosen and proclaimed this year’s winning attempts to write the worst possible opening line for a novel.
Much imagination goes into this contest every year. As a big fan of really bad puns, I probably laughed hardest over this one:
Professor Lemieux had anticipated that his latest paper would be received with skepticism within the small, fractious circle of professional cosmologists, few of whom were prepared to accept his hypothesis that our universe had been created in a marijuana-induced industrial accident by insectoid aliens; nevertheless, he was stung when Hawking airily dismissed it as the Bug Bong Theory. — Alan Follett, Hercules, CA
But there are many more to enjoy, all of them works of positively awful brilliance. Have fun.
In other news of literature and imagination:
From SmartPopBooks.com, How Star Trek Liberated Television. This piece contains some interesting thought that may appeal in particular to pub readers used to the marginalization of fantasy and speculative fiction in general:
Mainstream media such as the New York Times confine most reviews of science fiction to columns on page thirty-eight or the equivalent in which three or four novels are accorded a paragraph or two each of review—almost literally on the margins. This may in fact help science fiction, by keeping it suppressed and edgy, but it misses how science fiction is the quintessential storytelling of our time, uniquely capturing the human connection to the cosmos: our capacity to first know it and then reshape it to our own specifications. (Not only does science fiction get short shrift in the New York Times. So does mystery. And romance novels are not reviewed there at all. The genres are apparently too popular to merit the Times’ attention. If it’s not about a dysfunctional Southern family, the “newspaper of record” has little interest in reviewing it. But that’s a story for another time.)
It’s interesting that author Paul Levinson calls sci-fi “the quintessential storytelling of our time”. Do you agree? Disagree? Where do you think fantasy, which boasts of similar popularity, subculture, and life applications, falls in relation to that?
While we’re talking Star Trek, Nerds Defy Shakespeare with ‘Star Trek in the Park’. I so want to see this.
And finally, all in one bulleted list because it’s a short week:
- My fondness for puns forces me to bow before the greatness of Jonathan Wood’s post title: “On Looking for Lovecraft in All the Wrong Places.” Some language, but the post is excellent.
- BBC News has an interesting story on Hollywood heroines, with reference to Katniss as well as Merida from Brave.
- Flavorwire answers a pressing question: What your favorite YA series says about you. For us Potter fans, it’s “You spent several of your formative years wishing you could be way cooler than you really were. But then again, who didn’t?” Well. Guilty as charged.
- io9 lists the “Deepest, Darkest Coming of Age Stories from Science Fiction and Fantasy.” Yes, it includes Harry Potter.
- Sci-fi author Harry Harrison, author of the novel “Make Room! Make Room!” which inspired the movie Soylent Green, passed away this week.
- Simple Homeschool mom Jamie details “How reading Anne of Green Gables helped me chill out as a parent.”
- Apparently, Tarzan captures the Jewish imagination.
- In case you want to seal your marriage with something geeky, here are eleven suitable wedding bands.
- Flavorwire provides a Google Maps tour of famous authors’ homes.
Lastly but not leastly, Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them are now available in Pottermore’s ebook shop!