Feeds

Microsoft man wins WWW (World's Worst Writer) fiction award

It was a dark and sultry, mildewed, shirtless night

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

A Microsoft employee has won the Oscar of bad prose - and no, he isn't even a weblogger.

Every year the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest honors the best attempts to parody bad fiction. It's judged by Professor Scott Rice at San Jose State University in California, and is now in its 22nd year.

It's an impressive achievement, as the bar has been pushed ever higher over the years. For example, it's hard to imagine anyone topping 2002's winning submission from Rephah Berg:

On reflection, Angela perceived that her relationship with Tom had always been rocky, not quite a roller-coaster ride but more like when the toilet-paper roll gets a little squashed so it hangs crooked and every time you pull some off you can hear the rest going bumpity-bumpity in its holder until you go nuts and push it back into shape, a degree of annoyance that Angela had now almost attained.

But step forward Dan McKay, an employee of Microsoft Great Plains, who wins the $250 for his send-up of rotten prose. McKay fended off some impressive competition, for example this, from Kristin Harbuck:

She walked toward him, her dress billowing in the wind - not a calm and predictable billows like the sea, but more like the billowing of a mildewed shower curtain in a cheap motel where one has to dance around to avoid touching it while trying to rinse off soap.

Or this, from Jere Hudson who was the runner-up in the 2005 Romance category:

"Oh my God!" Amber whispered as the compressor throbbed to life, shuddered rhythmically towards its inevitable conclusion, and shot ninety pounds of sultry air through custom-bored, cold-drawn, boss-lock-fitted crimp-couplings as Chuck Key glanced up with a smile that only tire shop guys can smile.

And Nancy Lee can count herself unlucky for this homage to the bodice-ripping category, which is a classic of its kind:

She was standing weepily at her father's grave in the old family cemetery, where the ancient headstones tipped and tumbled like a flock of spring lambs, when she raised her weary eyes to see a shirtless man, his mighty thighs clutching the loins of a raging steed whose breath came hot as a desert wind, and made a mental note to get her hairdryer repaired.

We won't spoil the suspense, so you can find Dan's winning entry here, and more about the awards here.

Readers who fancy their hand at prose parody, pay attention! We have snagged three copies of Verity Stob's collected works to give away as a prize. In the meantime, brush up on your modern management textboooks: a working knowledge of the prose of gurus such as Tom Peters and Mark Hurd will be an advantage. ®

Related stories

FAUX News parody site draws FOX News lawyers
Intel airs Itanium underpants in public
Fox deceives millions during national pastime
Microsoft's Ballmer beat off Asian genital challenge
Open source miracle horse stuns MS Japan

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS
YouGov poll reveals terrible truth about the enemy within
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?