Thursday, September 01, 2005


NOTE: I can't help but feel the disconnect between the frivolity of posting these contest results and the terrible things happening on the Gulf Coast. So, please, if you read this entry and you're entertained, or even if you're not, contribute to the relief efforts. Thanks.

Judging the worst last lines of a novel contest was very difficult, especially since I know several of the submitters. Therefore, I gave all of the entries to Ann with the names and nicknames taken off, got her opinions, and then we both sat down and picked out the winners. It was tough. In another mood, on a different day, any of those below could have won.

Ultimately, we picked the Myers because it nicely mimicked a standard bad novel ending while adding just one insanely absurd element that made us laugh. Goodwin’s was likewise absurd and hilarious, and we contemplated a tie for first for a long time. Meanwhile, Rowan’s entry nicely skewered a popular book while giving us the kind of shudder you get from reading the end of Waugh’s A Handful of Dust.

Among the runners up, Paul Larsen’s two entries displayed outstanding creativity, while Llewellyn’s entry is just plain funny.

Thanks to everyone for sending in such quality material. I had a lot of fun with this, and I hope you did too.

I’m sure everyone has their own favorite and that our picks will be controversial in some quarters. For example, Evil Monkey wanted Nick Mamatas to win or place.

To view all of the entrants, click here and here.


PS If you’re on the Honorable Mentions list with a nickname or first name only and you want your full name listed, just email me.

PPS I expect acceptance speeches from the winners.


1st Place - $50 and three books

E.C. Myers
"Well, you were right," I said to Jenny. "The cauliflower was evil. Do you suppose we'll ever learn how it managed to hijack that plane and escape?"

"No," she said.

2nd Place - $25 and two books

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

3rd Place - $15 and one book

Iain Rowan
"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."


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

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

Paul Larsen
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.


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.

With his HotPocket finished, Jeff picked up his tweezers and positioned his fluorescent 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..."

Lawrence Dyer
"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 ||

Richard Hayden
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.

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.

Ben the Gong
He fell to his knees, tears streaming down his face and sobbed to the sky above "Why did she have to be my brother?"


At 11:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent, excellent, all excellent... I am going to paste them onto the wall above my desk and start working a novel towards one of them now...

At 12:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PPS I expect acceptance speeches from the winners.

I'd like to thank Jeff, Evil Monkey, and the Academy, and all of those who made my third place possible - my mum, dad, all my family, including seventh cousins five times removed, my friends, my enemies, casual acquaintances, everyone I have ever known or met, even people I have never met, mammals, reptiles, fish, protozoans, alien lifeforms we have not yet encountered, all deities whether real, mythological or simply imagined, inanimate objects of all kinds, vegetable, mineral, and as yet undiscovered kinds of sub-atomic particles.

Oh, except Phil Smith, of 45 Gunnersbury Place.

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

An Expected Acceptance Speech

To Whom It May Concern:

That last sentence was my life, and now it has become a life sentence. The only way to ease my sticky pain is to contribute to the relief efforts.

I feel that it is time for I, Horrendus J. Mukluk, to condemn Geoffrey H. Goodwin, who is both a whippersnapper and a hack, for appropriating the last line of my novel, _Sparky McCloud Versus the Mighty! and Infernal! Machines_. My masterpiece, which is currently only available as an e-book, is a heartfelt treatise on the gooey substance that oozes from a heart when it is laid bare. Few people realize that the human heart does not look like the happy squiggles that adorn their Valentine’s Day cards. It is a meaty and tremulous fist of muscle and fleshy tubes.

My novel, _Sparky McCloud Versus the Mighty! and Infernal! Machines_, contains numerous flibbertigibbets, a hint of gimcrackery and then possesses an unstoppable romantic interlude that runs for hundreds of pages but suddenly gives way to a stand-alone Pop Up piece called, “The Sonnets of the Humming Lamas.” (It is not my fault that a money-grubbing e-publisher misspelled the word lamas and my sprightly, supple and spiritually-grounded poems became ruminations on the bestial love between “Llamas.” Replete with Pop Up Windows no less! Those passages were meant to be heartfelt and revelatory. It injures me that they have become so two-dimensionally diabolical.)

This Goodwin fellow has forgotten that the first rule of the Fortifier is that you do not talk about the Fortifier. Because of this theft, secrets that can make hair turn white, or gray, or a gnarly mixture that is the color of grits mixed with whey, have been exposed to a world that isn’t ready for the carefully hidden revelations that appear on pages 246 and 2,246.

So, despite this Goodwin whippersnapper’s glee for earning twenty-five dollars for the aforementioned single sentence (which he managed to chisel all the way up to twenty-seven dollars by being clever enough to already owe money to the Jeff VanderMeer for books that the VanderMeer had already sent), or his gratitude to Master Matt Cheney for plugging the “Worst Last Line Contest” in The Mumpsimus, or the kind condolences and wilted lilies sent by Ms. Sonya Taaffe, I merely encourage all shrewd and punctilious readers to enjoy my _Sparky McCloud Versus the Mighty! and Infernal! Machines_ e-book for what it is worth, but also to look forward to the extended version that will come out (from a highly-reputable vanity press) as soon as I track down Geoffrey H. Goodwin and make him confess to stealing my beautiful work.

This reminds me of a story my sainted grandmother often told about a time-traveling, interdimensional robot named Kompressor and a violent and bloodthirsty street gang composed of genetically-mutated wombats – but I have become tired and need to take the pill that makes my psychosis go away, so I will begin a new decalogy that will tell that tale. The first novel in the series will take me a week or two to write. I will post it in my blog as I go. It will be called, _I’m in a Committed Relationship but I Think You’re Very Hot So I’m Going To Ask You Out Eventually: Volume One in the Heart! Laid! Bare! Decalogy_.

In truth, though ashamed that my actual last line was used without my permission to come in second in this contest, I thought that Lindsley’s cannibal dentist would win.

Many Gleeful Harrumphs to One and All,

Horrendus J. Mukluk

PS -- Or am I really Geoffrey H. Goodwin? Now I’m confused… What if I’m not trying to write badly and this is all I have? Is this tomorrow or just the Evil Monkey of time?

The first rule of the Fortifier is that you don’t talk about the Fortifier,

And thanks,

Geoffrey H. Goodwin

At 4:31 PM, Blogger Livia Llewellyn said...

"Always the bridesmaid, never the bride," her vagina sobbed.

At 3:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to thank Liz for telling me about the contest and encouraging me to give it a shot, Carrie for screening all of my entries, and Clarion West for teaching me how to write a "Clarion ending." Special thanks go to Jeff and Ann for having exceptionally good taste.

By the way, of course I know how the cauliflower escaped, and I'll never tell.

At 12:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...




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