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Spanners*
Misses his big brother :(
Fri 4th Jul '08 2:50PM
4597 Posts
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7th Apr '03
I've just discovered an annual award for the worst fiction ever - http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/

This one is from the 1987 winner:

The notes blatted skyward as they rose over the Canada geese, feathered
rumps mooning the day, webbed appendages frantically pedaling unseen
bicycles in their search for sustenance, driven by cruel Nature's maxim,
'Ya wanna eat, ya gotta work,' and at last I knew Pittsburgh.


There is some great Japanese fantasy in there too, stuff almost on a par with Lionel Fanthorpe
    

Agentgonzo
There's no pee in catheter!
Mon 14th Jul '08 12:29PM
811 Posts
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8th Aug '06
The countdown had stalled at 'T' minus 69 seconds when Desiree, the first female ape to go up in space, winked at me slyly and pouted her thick, rubbery lips unmistakably -- the first of many such advances during what would prove to be the longest, and most memorable, space voyage of my career.
-- Winning sentence, 1985 Bulwer-Lytton bad fiction contest.
  

Demian*
Oh Lordy, Plegaleggole
Tue 22nd Jul '08 10:17AM
4678 Posts
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7th Apr '03
You've got to go a long way to beat Lionel Fanthorpe. He averaged a book every 12 days for some time, under a variety of pseudonyms, which he achieved by sitting under a blanket and dictating the first things that came to his head. Amusingly, this means that most of his books are full of transcription errors, as they were not even proofread by the author before publication. Even despite the transcription errors, he still used to come out with stuff like this:

The grey voice of the grey Seaforth glided greyly on to their ears, like a tide of putrescent grey molasses.

It was like going for a ride on the back of an animated haggis.

“I'm am idiot,” he said. “I am the primaeval ancestor of all idiots. I am an arch-crud. I am the nig-nog of all the nig-nogs. I am the ultimate splurge!”

Grafton gave a passable impersonation of a tadpole which has tried very hard to be a frog and, having failed miserably, is now waiting for some predator of the duck pond to end its little life.

Armande was an old, wrinkled, French art expert. He was as wizened as the raisins that hang in deserted corners of the champagne vinyards.

He stood trembling like a bladder of lard...

There was silence for a few minutes. Silence, that is, except for the whining noise, which continued to grow.

When Joe Maginty woke up he had the grandfather and grandmother, the primaeval ancestor and ancestress of every hangover from which every man has ever suffered in the course of human history, or is ever destined to suffer from as long as time and humanity shall walk together through the universe.

Rolant seemed to shrink into himself like a dried garlic clove.

I am not a psychiatrist. I am not a psychologist, I'm only a very amateur philosopher, but I do somtimes wonder whether the human mind, body and soul, can be likened to a car; a driver and a control panel...

Eric Fenn glanced at the screen and thought of the Earth as a little, coloured, round pill, a pill from which somebody had sucked half the sugar coating and found the harsh-tasting chemical inside was not pallitable and had therefore spat it out. It had been a good strong expectoration, thought Eric Fenn.

  

Xander
The panda is the evolutionary equivalent of living off benefits.
Fri 25th Jul '08 10:16PM
169 Posts
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16th Jul '08
If we are nominating for bad fiction then I propose Dan Brown should get an award for everything he has ever written. I heard him quoted in an interview that he throws away about 75% of everything he ever writes. I wish he had thrown away 100% of everything.

However, it is not possible to give him the award for the Da Vinci Code as he nicked the entire plot, hook line and sinker, from a book called The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail. Perhaps a special award should be created for taking someone else’s book and making it crapper?

 

Amanshu*
Giggity Giggity goo
Sat 26th Jul '08 12:20AM
2708 Posts
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25th Aug '04
Nah, if you want really bad prose try James Patterson. Nonsensical plots with no explanation, little to no characterisation and rubbish writing. And he's a bestseller!

Hate that...
   

Demian*
Oh Lordy, Plegaleggole
Mon 28th Jul '08 12:10AM
4678 Posts
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7th Apr '03


Xander was bold enough to comment:

Perhaps a special award should be created for taking someone else’s book and making it crapper?




They could call it "Hollywood"
  

General*
Windows Bob - the best!
Mon 28th Jul '08 2:23PM
4213 Posts
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7th Apr '03


Xander was bold enough to comment:
If we are nominating for bad fiction then I propose Dan Brown should get an award for everything he has ever written.



I'm with you on that Xander. It is easily one of the worst written books I have ever read. It is also probably one of the only books which you can tell is badly written from the first word.


As Stephen Fry put it:

Dan Whatsit and his preposterously awful Leonardo book are actually relevant to our theme. I usually last longer with any best-selling novel, however pathetic, than I did with his. But in his case I knew from the very first word that this was a writer of absolutely zero interest, insight, wit, understanding or ability. A blunderer of monumental incompetence. The first word, can you credit it, is ‘renowned’. ‘Renowned symbologist Henry Titfeather ….’ or something equally drivelling, that’s how this dreadful book opens. How do you begin to explain to someone that you just don’t start a fictional story by telling your readers that your character is ‘renowned’? You show it, you don’t tell it.


Now Stephen Fry on the other hand. There is someone who can write a decent novel.
    

Xander
The panda is the evolutionary equivalent of living off benefits.
Sun 10th Aug '08 10:02PM
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16th Jul '08
Not sure if this is slightly off topic but there is a bad sex in fiction prize. In the Literary Review it awards its ‘Bad Sex in Fiction’ prize to the novel which has the most ‘inept, embarrassing and unnecessary sex scene’ and based on that definition deserves a mention in the bad fiction thread. Tom Wolfe, no less, has bagged this one in his novel ‘I am Charlotte Simmons’ and I quote:

Slither slither slither slither went the tongue. But the hand, that was what she tried to concentrate on, the hand, since it has the entire terrain of her torso to explore and not just the otorhinolaryngological caverns – oh God, it was not just at the border where the flesh of the breast joins the pectoral sheath of the chest – no, the hand was cupping her entire right – Now!

I like that he used the word otorhinolaryngological which must only ever be used by smug doctors and only those who want to make themselves look clever. I think there should be an award for most obscurely long word used in fiction.

Also when it comes to bad fiction can I nominate (and I’m sure all English teachers agree with me) all and any GCSE English exam questions that require the student to make up their own story.
 

Swoop*
CHIMPO
Wed 15th Oct '08 12:50AM
1558 Posts
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9th Apr '03
Neil Gaiman, the author of comics and other things, many years ago produced a book featuring a collection of the worst prose from the world of Sci-fi. For example:


Tony Brant, lean and tough as a whipcoard [sic] with that sharp ageless cast of feature that personified the men of the 25th century. Neither physically, mentally not biologically, Brant hadn't aged a day since he was twenty.
Trebor Thorpe, Lightening World.

Beams and timbers of misery and wanting clashed within me.
John Norman, Raiders of Gor.

A world in which the human race has been split into several species, while wars are raged over the weather with the aid of giant insects, does have parallels to our planet today. I do not predict that this is the future that awaits us. But I do not deny that this is the direction in which we are moving.
Stanton A Coblenz, Pulp Voices.

Time puffed along like a poisoned caterpillar
Isadore Haiblum, The Wilk are Among Us

The blue movie was good too. It gave Buzz a hardon. He had a cock thirteen inches long. It was as tough and flexible as plastic can be and it glowed in the dark.
Alan Marks, The Antenna Syndrome.
 

Demian*
Oh Lordy, Plegaleggole
Thu 16th Oct '08 8:05AM
4678 Posts
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7th Apr '03


Swoop was bold enough to comment:

John Norman, Raiders of Gor.




There are far worse monstrosities spawned by this guy, including one of the largest internet subcultures of perverts. I'll dig info out later.

Edit: http://www.worldofgor.com/

Gor is a continent in science fiction. Many may wish it did not exist, but it is there.

It is not hard to find, really. Just look for a world that lies a thousand degrees north of monothink, a thousand degrees east of orthodoxy, a thousand degrees west of ideological conformity, a continent far from the placid waters of predictable mediocrity, a different world, one real, one like no other, one beyond the familiar world’s horizon, one emergent from far, tumultuous, untamed seas, a world alert to deep currents, which listens to secret whispers, which wears stars in her hair.

The maps of ideologically servile cartographers may choose not to show the Gorean world, but it is there, a wonderful, forbidden continent. Some of you know her, and have been there.
---J. Norman, Dec. 2000


Edit lest people think this is literary snobbery: The 'goreans' are pretty much despised for their advocation of complete female subservience to males. The trouble is they turn it into a lifestyle rather than a kink, much like the furries, and some of the real freaks argue for the enslavement of all real women on Earth.
  

Xander
The panda is the evolutionary equivalent of living off benefits.
Tue 21st Oct '08 5:51PM
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16th Jul '08
Somehow the Gor books managed to find a publisher right up to the mid 80's before someone banned them on the not unreasonable grounds of bad taste.

The typical plot is 'feisty' and 'resistent' woman changes her mind once she has been 'punished' by her 'master'. So they are to say the least very anti-feminist. Amazing how much trash writing they have managed to produce though.

On the subject of the internet perverts 'Goreans' I remember a news item about some teenager who got involved with the Gorean lot. His father called the police on them when he became concerned about his son. The police made no action because the teen was withe them of his own free will.

SciFi Guru David Langford wrote an SFX article on John Norman's Gor books. He argued they were highly sexual philosophy and did a bit of an apologist piece for them. He treated Gor with more respect than it deserves, never quite looked at his column in the same way again.
 

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