Wednesday, August 03, 2005

YEAH, BUT HOW ABOUT LOUSY LAST LINES OF NOVELS?!

AUGUST 5th UPDATE: Please note that the comment thread for posting new entries exists here. The one connected to this blog entry is closed and anything posted to it will be ignored. The contest still ends August 15th. God help us all.

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest focuses on the worst opening lines of a novel. But as my friend Paul Larsen points out--what about the worst last lines of a novel? Surely there's nothing worse than reading all the way to the end and getting a stinker of a last line or paragraph? At least if you start reading and it sucks, you can put it down.

So here's the deal. Post in the comments section a made-up worst last sentence or sentences/paragraph of a novel, in the tradition of Bulwer-Lytton. The winner gets $30 and their choice of three of my books (forthcoming Shriek included in offer). Contest closes August 14th.

Jeff

UPDATE: Let's up the ante to $50 for first place, $25 for second, and $10 for third, with 1st getting three of my books, 2nd getting two, and 3rd getting one. And I'll list some honorable mentions. I'll also post update blog entries posting the entries in the comments field from time to time, if necessary. And I'm limiting it to 7 entries per person. Finally, you can post your entry anonymously, but to claim your prize you'll have to become known. And I'd prefer you not be anonymous.

80 Comments:

At 6:46 AM, Anonymous Neil A said...

Then Jeff woke up and realised it had all been a dream.

 
At 6:50 AM, Anonymous marmot said...

Ultimately, this was made all the more amazing when you realize, dear reader, that the once-fearsome Elvin was none other than his neigbor's son, Murray, disguising himself with an evangelist's wig and a velvet cape.

 
At 7:03 AM, Blogger Joe Gordon said...

And it was with true horror he slowly came to the realisation that the night was not dark or stormy, but that the natives had plucked out his eyes and were suffering from prodigious blasts of powerful flatulence.

 
At 7:09 AM, Anonymous wombat said...

Mike looked into the mirror at his boil, smiled, and said "Boil, old friend, I just want to tell you that I wouldn't have wanted to share that very fun adventure that we just had with anyone else, and I want to thank you so much for helping me immortalize our quest along the way in such an awesome epic poem."

 
At 7:37 AM, Anonymous Ol' Peculiar said...

His glass eye, tired of playing the part of unwitting grifter in a seemingly endless series of escalating bar bets, had finally wreaked its horrific revenge and escaped into a jar of olives.

 
At 8:20 AM, Anonymous Iain Rowan said...

"My researches have revealed that this so-called Da Vinci Code is in fact only one of a series of forty-seven such Codes, the stories of which I shall tell separately in other volumes."

 
At 8:29 AM, Anonymous PaulJessup said...

Then it was decided by the thirteenth consoule (who had been introduced in book 1 and never actually seen until this point, rising out of the mists of time) on the thirteenth day (which was considered a day between days and not an actual day itself) that this, in fact, never actually happened (at least not in hte original forty realms of the unkown worm, those other realms that exist between period A and the plane of everlasting nasty sex did actually exist and pleased the consoule to no end) and god is a big fat liar and you smell like cheese.

ps-
I like to sniff my own fingers.

THE END.

 
At 8:51 AM, Anonymous index card said...

As they stepped back onto their magical time machine, Holmes clapped Watson on the back and said "And to think old friend, the solution to the crime was hidden in the eviscerated crackwhore's body the whole time."

 
At 9:02 AM, Blogger Jason Erik Lundberg said...

And so there was nothing left to do but to vomit in rage.

 
At 9:28 AM, Anonymous N. Fonseca said...

So this was the end of the adventure and of it all and of the things I said I would write and that I dreamt and that I did and so on. Not what this humble author would expect to have said or other, and most certainly not what you dear reader of all readers and persons wanted, I think, (I believe). God however provides to all and especially to endings. This is of course, the end.
The End.

 
At 9:59 AM, Anonymous darto said...

As he set the juiced lemon half onto the counter, he had a flash of inspiration and instantly had the answers to all the mysteries that had happened up to that point, except the identity of the murderer.

 
At 10:19 AM, Anonymous blazingpossum said...

And so, the girls realized--their bloated, corpulent, and rather obese worm-like bodies writhing sultrily--that not only had the transporter horribly mutated their bodies, they had also lost their virginity in a mad, barely conscious frenzy of hermaphoditic copulation.

 
At 10:23 AM, Anonymous the cute beatle said...

Appropriately, as if by an act of some divine power, who understood the significance of all things, the haunting opening verse of "Yellow Submarine" came from the jukebox.

 
At 10:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just so it's clear--you can post using a pseudonym. But if you win, you have to reveal yourself to claim your prize.

JeffV

 
At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Paul Jessup said...

What if I like to reveal myself daily? (Usually outside to monkey and fish and some waterfowl) Is there a prize for that?

Also- what's the rule on multiple entries? (pr0n joke mostly unintended)

 
At 10:47 AM, Anonymous Tim Pratt said...

On the point of the precipice, his enemy tottering beneath his grasp, about to plunge headfirst into the boiling river below, Roberts pauses, turns his head, and looks up, up through a sky the color of typescript, up, and he sees you, your face there beyond the serifs of the black clouds overhead. He gently releases his grip on the throat of his foe, smiles up at you, and shakes his head. "It's just a story," he says. "What are you doing here? You've got a *life*. Go, and live it, and leave us to our dark business in peace." And with that, The End comes rushing up to cover over all that went before.

 
At 10:49 AM, Anonymous Tim Pratt said...

You don't understand. Even now, after all this, you still don't understand. My God, Eliot, don't you see? That night I discovered that she wasn't really a woman at all....

 
At 10:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's say up to 7 entries each. Why 7? I don't know. It just seems right. LOL!

I'm enjoying all of these...
jeffV

 
At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Noosh said...

It is a far, far better thing I do than that time I bought ten boxes of girl scout cookies which was pretty fucking generous, but hey, she looked pretty hot in that uniform and there's no way she was only thirteen, and... where was I; it is a far, far better rest I go to than that night I passed out in the mattress department at Sears and nobody noticed me until the next morning. Those Sealy Posturepedics are sweet, yo.

 
At 11:51 AM, Anonymous Paul Jessup said...

ne ne ne ne, it is ne or ni or not ne at all, the end of all ne or ni or nope or ni, to end the ni would be to ackowledge it had a ni to begin with, so the ending of the ni must be transparent and herewith called the last ni, the final ni, the ni without na or no or nip or not, just a ni in the nothing of na.

 
At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Paul Jessup said...

This is where, I, the author, have wiped my ass
||
||
\/

THE END.

 
At 1:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Not so sure about that one. Seems to have dented the momentum. LOL!

Jeff

 
At 1:43 PM, Blogger Dave said...

Because in the end, after all the unemployment, and the shopping, and the sex (oh god yeah the sex), and the meticulous landscaping, they were nothing more than people (except for the animals), and people, after all, need people; so Paris flipped her hair, took Paris's hand, turned to Nicole and said, "Will you marry us?"

 
At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Tim Pratt said...

And then, dear reader, I made it into the MFA program after all, and on my professor's advice, sat down to write the chronicle you've just read. And now I must leave you, with my sad and sexy story behind me, and a bright future ahead.

Love and kisses always,

Romana Cleft

 
At 2:31 PM, Anonymous Lynette said...

When the morning mists finally lifted and the sun shyly shone on the desolate wasteland that was once a home, all that was left of the events of the last twelve and a half days was the litter of spent bullets strewn across the lawn, accompanied by the bitter stench of revenge.

 
At 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And so Bilbo Baggins and Harry Potter laughed all the way to the bank, realizing the amazing marketing potential that their adventures in Narnia would have.

--Spencer Pate

 
At 3:21 PM, Anonymous nick Mamatas said...

And though the doctors at the emergency room struggled valiantly, even they could not remove my hands from the chilling bodies of the two dead women I was simultaneously anally fisting and indeed, I write this livejounal entry, dear reader, by HITTING THE KEYBOARD KEYS WITH MY NOSE!

 
At 3:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Then the butterflies flew by in perfect formations and the unicorns sang as a rainbow appeared in the sky, the memory of the Mamatas entry beginning to fade, thankfully, from the thoughts of everyone in fantasyland.

Shocked

 
At 6:34 PM, Anonymous Meghan McCarron said...

And then the princess died of syphilis.

 
At 6:49 PM, Anonymous Meghan McCarron said...

I spent years in America's Sodom, but Jody taught me the only man I can rightfully love, even without meth, is the man upstairs, Lord Jesus Christ.

 
At 7:31 PM, Anonymous Nick Kaufmann said...

Gripping the knife, he approached the naked, sleeping form of the woman he had just bedded, preparing to flay her just as he had all the women before her, when all of a sudden she spun around, pulling a machete from under the pillow -- she, too, was a serial killer!

 
At 7:31 PM, Anonymous Nick Kaufmann said...

"Nooooo!" he screamed, finally realizing he'd been dead the whole time.

 
At 8:17 PM, Anonymous Paul Jessup said...

An extention of one earlier:

And then the princess died of syphilis, and the prince thought "Why waste some good food?" and ate her.

 
At 8:27 PM, Blogger Fish Monkey said...

And the last thing he saw was the hellish maw of a monster closing in; or it would've been, if he didn't realize he was already dead. (Sorry Nick.)

 
At 9:40 PM, Anonymous M. Lance said...

He ripped open her corset, buried his face into the gooshy mounds of her flesh and, while thanking his mighty creator that he'd found such a woman with such fleshy orbs, he cried, "I love you; I have always loved you; and, God help me, I will love you until the stars fall from the sky, crashing down on us and our passionate, mad love..." at which point V. Gina Dentata's fleshy melons heaved as she grabbed her suitor's fleshy buttocks and thought, "Damn what a fine man."

The End

 
At 9:49 PM, Anonymous M. Lance said...

All was well for Felicia Maria Antoinette Decoulage -- she'd beaten down the mad pirate who wanted to bed her and she'd found the man of her dreams -- the man in the black mask who was the greatest sweet sex she had ever known. "Please," she pleaded voluptuosly, "Tell me, my deepest love, tell me your name!" At which point the man in black removed her mask to reveal her father! "No!!!" she cried, "Nooo!!!" How would she tell her mother that the baby she carried in her belly was her brother?

 
At 10:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So that's what the end of the entire cosmos looks like," said Jeff with a sniff. "Anyone got a tissue?"

 
At 11:27 PM, Anonymous M. Lance said...

Anna and Daniel waited in intense anticipation, waiting for what news awaited them from the doctor. Finally, he came in, chart in hand. "Good news, Anna," he said, "You'll be just fine. But in the future, no matter how much they really satisfy, please don't insert a Snickers, uh, down there again."

 
At 11:34 PM, Anonymous M. Lance said...

Thanks Jeff. This has been a great deal of fun.

Just one question:

What are you going to call your contest so that we can reference it in our writing credits/vitas. For example:

"Constance Bloogler has contributed to Asimov's, Parenting, High Times and won Honorable Mention in the first annual (contest title here)."

 
At 1:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I turned away from the prone form of the malignant Dr. Death, believing him dead from the diet of sub-machine gun pellets Jeff had just fed him.

Then I felt a skeletal hand clutch at my ankle. The nightmare had only just begun...

--------------
Some of these I think I'd rather like to read the entire book. More worryingly, others I think _I have_ read

 
At 3:57 AM, Blogger Gareth said...

The massed ranks of both armies poised, ready to rampage across the field of battle, the chanting of the bloodthirsty warriors reaching a deafening level as they prepared for this, the final battle.
"Bring me the Holy McGuffin, Farnak, or I shall lay waste to your lands!", cried the leader of the Bol'g'h'g'h'g'gnns.
"The what?", shouted Farnak, King of the Ooo-ooo-ooos.
"The McGuffin. C'mon, hand it over."
"Don't have it."
"Oh, ok. Sorry to have bothered you."

 
At 4:50 AM, Anonymous Paul Jessup said...

And then Godot showed up and said, "Hey catz, why the long faces? I know I left you waitin' for awhile and stuff, but nothin to be sad about. Hyuck-hyuck."

 
At 5:10 AM, Blogger peelitback said...

...and with that the dark and stormy night gave way to a beautiful golden dawn.

 
At 6:13 AM, Anonymous homer said...

With his HotPocket finished, Jeff picked up his tweezers and positioned his flurorescent magnifier swing-arm lamp above the two piles of sand on his desk to resume his count, shifting the grains one at time as he had been doing for the past 3 years -- "nine-hundred thousand eight-hundred and thirty-six, nine-hundred thousand eight-hundred and thirty-seven, nine-hundred thousand eight-hundred and thirty-eight, nine-hundred thousand eight-hundred and thirty-nine, nine-hundred thousand eight-hundred and forty, nine-hundred thousand eight-hundred and forty-one..."

 
At 6:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're going to call it...

The Evil Monkey Bad Last Line Contest

or something like that.

Man, you guys all went nuts with this stuff overnight. LOL! I'll post it all in a blog entry in the next couple of days--an update, etc. In the meantime, keep 'em coming.

I may have to create two categories: bawdy and non-bawdy.

Nick M--okay, so at first I thought "ew" and then about two hours later I started laughing. But you do know my mom and co-workers read this blog?!

JeffV

 
At 7:09 AM, Anonymous Lake Cavanaugh said...

And now, with the vast knowledge necessary to successfully make a wall calendar--from the drawing of the squares (equal sizes, ONLY 7 per week, five rows will work but you may need to draw a slash through a few days to make them all fit some months) to the writing of the numbers (legible, top-aligned, centered, numerical left to right) to the application of the artwork to the upfold (cuddly kittens tangled in yarn, oil paintings with golden sunbeams hitting lighthouses and cottages after a morning rain, airbrushed haughty unicorns prancing under purple skies) --writ indelibly in his freakishly absorbent brain, Jeff checked his calendar and lay down for a well-deserved rest.

 
At 7:47 AM, Anonymous Lawrence Dyer said...

[With apologies to Neil A]

It has not been a dream. No, Jeff, I'm not a novel -- not an audio novel -- no! Not any kind of novel. I'm real. I'm your doctor -- listen to me! I think you're coming back into a normal state of consciousness after what has been a very long time. What you thought were fictional events have all been real, terrible though they are. Do you understand? This is your doctor speaking, not a novel. Focus on my voice... No, Jeff, put the chair down...!

 
At 8:02 AM, Anonymous Lawrence Dyer said...

"And now at last," said Cavan with a grand gesture, "I can reveal to all of you the name of the killer who murdered our nine dear friends so cruelly while they slept in their beds. It's

|| Seconds - Sold in aid of Cats Wear Clothes (Registered Charity #387O5472) Purchasers please note that some pages may be missing ||

 
At 8:53 AM, Anonymous Paul Jessup said...

a riff and an extention on the past sentances (marred and mangled in my own words to create a strange new idea....):

After vomining with rage that dark and stormy night gave way to a beautiful golden dawn, who died of syphalus that morning and wasn't really a women after all, just as Bilbo Baggins had presumed all along.

 
At 8:57 AM, Blogger Celia said...

The butler did it.

 
At 9:02 AM, Blogger Celia said...

I was just reading a collection of New York Magazine contests, one of which was this very topic, but I think my favorite was the first line of books you really don't want to read. ("You wouldn't believe the size of the bug I killed in Gregor's room this morning." was the best of them.)

 
At 9:33 AM, Blogger fleurdelis28 said...

Enjoying the story? Want to find out what happens next? Keep an eye out for the sequel, available in hardcover at a bookstore near you in March of 2006!

 
At 9:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Sadly, I never found out the answer to my question. Her vagina never spoke to me again...."

Livia Llewellyn
http://www.livejournal.com/users/the_numinous_1/

 
At 10:52 AM, Blogger Zardokk said...

And then, with one final blow, he decapitated the pig and freed of all of the people of Warthogvillekastan. As the people were cheering, he flashed them with his outrageously huge genitals. He was arrested for public indecency and never heard from again...until the sequal. No, seriously dude, go out and buy the sequal...it's probably out by now. GOD DAMN IT, GIVE ME YOUR $32.95!

 
At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try as he might, Jeff would never get City of Saints and Madmen published. Rather, it would forever languish unseen in a remaindered bookstore in Florida where he had sneaked it in with the rest of the lousy books. Jeff spent the rest of his life working in that bookstore, organizing the books on the shelves into pretty patterns of light and dark, occasionally dreaming of meercats and Ambergris on lonely, rainy afternoons.
--Spencer Pate

 
At 12:13 PM, Blogger The Head said...

So that's what science fiction is, Johnny thought, a probing searching vision of humanity, the crown of all literature.

 
At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm gonna have to disqualify any that use me as a character, I'm afraid, as a blatant attempt to suck up. :)

JeffV

 
At 1:21 PM, Anonymous Richard Hayden said...

And then, with a pop as soft as that which marks the passing of a soap bubble dancing its last on a summer zephyr, our hero's rectum prolapsed.

 
At 1:59 PM, Blogger Deanna Hoak said...

And when it was all said and done, and the whistles were all blown and the cards were all counted, when the chickens had come home to roost and the cows had come just come home, when he'd received his last rites and the Fat Lady had sung, when there was nothing left but the crying...Jeff had still gotten the short end of the stick, because nice guys always finish last.

 
At 6:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is so disheartening to discover you live in a sleeping god's dream.

Ben from the Gong

 
At 6:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the coffin burst into flame buster ceased his frantic scratching at the inside of the lid and wondered if he was wearing fresh underwear.

Ben from the Gong

 
At 7:08 PM, Blogger Devil's Kitchen said...

So you see, patient reader, what I learned from this sorry take was that—after trying so hard to win her back—having succeeded in this task, I realised that I we, had, in the intervening weeks, grown apart. Thus this entire novel has been a collosal waste of both my time and yours.

 
At 6:09 AM, Blogger peelitback said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 6:09 AM, Blogger peelitback said...

Author's note: Suckers!

 
At 6:27 AM, Blogger John said...

To be continued...

 
At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David Langford had a great last line for a made-up prequel to Lord of the Rings: "Kiss me again, Gandalf - Please."

--Spencer Pate

 
At 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool stuff. Slight change in plans. By tomorrow sometime, I'm going to narrow it down from among whatever number of entries have been posted by then. I'll post those entries as a main blog post, and then additional entries can be posted to the comments field of that blog post.

If that makes any sense. With so many entrants, I realized I can't post 'em all to a main blog entry, and this way I'll also have gone some way toward getting the winner selected.

Contest deadline still the 15th. And when I post the next blog entry about this, I'll post a comment here so no one posts to the wrong place.

BTW--I'd told some people that Evil Monkey's Friday Smackdown column would debut today. In fact, it will debut next week. I'll also be posting interviews with Kelly Link and Cory Doctorow.

Jeff

 
At 12:02 PM, Anonymous Ellen Paul said...

She rolled over, stretched languidly, and lit a long, slim cigarette. After inhaling, she realized that not only had Jeffrey left their thoroughly rumpled satin sheets, but he had showered and shaved and was pulling on his loafers. In her best pout, she asked if he had to leave so early.
"Yeah, babe, I've got some things I gotta do. But, don't worry, I'll call you.!

 
At 12:56 PM, Blogger Walter said...

I gibbered in terror as the towering gelatenous form of the hideous cyclopedian reached with one of its pseudopods and stole the candy from my baby.

The end.

 
At 1:35 PM, Blogger Jana said...

Her purple nipples wiggled at Lord Ravenwood as he climbed on top of her for the seventh time that night. Elizabeth blinked at him as he claimed her mouth, never to return it. "I am your whore!" she said. "And only your whore! I shall never look at another man, my one and only love!" She gasped as he fucked her, waiting patiently for her vaginal orgasm, now that she realized clitorial orgasms were so overrated. Now that he had told her what her clitoris was! Her innocence was over. She was about to get butt fucked by the only man she had ever, and would ever, love and that was good.

 
At 3:09 PM, Blogger Hardluck Writer said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 3:14 PM, Blogger Hardluck Writer said...

After years of searching through the dark abysses of Merhynia, of decyphering the unfathomable cyphers of Gollum, of reading the unholy books of Ahkram, Professor Lester DeWhittle finally uncovered the source of all evil in the universe - and it was his bathroom.

 
At 4:10 PM, Blogger Hardluck Writer said...

Inspector Chauncy Mulreath turned to the good Sergeant Dowry, and told him, "We may have failed in our attempts to unmask the Butcher of Chelshire, but at least it hasn't been a total loss - we do know now where we can buy three pair of tube socks for the price of two."

 
At 4:18 PM, Blogger Hardluck Writer said...

Lady Winnifer explaining to Inspector Chauncy Mulreath how she knew Horatio Bottomhooter was the dastardly murderer of Dame Agnes Goodbreath, "It was the way in which he would balance his peas, one at a time on the tip of his nose, before bouncing them into his mouth - a clear giveaway, my dear Inspector."

 
At 5:04 PM, Blogger Hardluck Writer said...

She shot him, but determined not to let her have the last laugh he went ahead and blew out his birthday candles with his last dying breath - which was ironic because he had wished for chocolate fudge and as he fell face first into the cake, realized it was a dark coffee buttercream.

 
At 6:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just like page 47, page 362 and as was alluded to twice on page 417, the Fortifier chortled because the air was sticky.

Geoffrey H. Goodwin

 
At 6:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The exhaust from the grey Plymouth lingered in my mouth as she drove away with that maniacal laugh I once loved, a deranged monkey named Ed, and a powerful case of VD.

MSockol

 
At 9:04 PM, Blogger JeffV said...

YO! This comment thread is closed. Go to the one upriver to post new entries, URL at:

http://vanderworld.blogspot.com/2005/08/evil-monkeys-worst-last-line-contest.html

That is all. You may return to the upright position.

JeffV

 
At 9:17 PM, Anonymous MSockol said...

And so here the chronicle came to a final end; Voldemort's laughter filling the shattered Headmaster's office, as he stood above the blackened remains of Harry Potter at his feet, when suddenly a sharp pain seized his evil heart, and the ghostly images of all he had killed spilled from his wand, circled his prey and ate lustily.

 
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