Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Bad library fiction is really really good

There are some things that only incredibly skilled people can do well, and writing very badly is one of them. The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest showcases the best of the worst, for our amusement and entertainment.

What the competition seems to lack, however, is a library catagory. In fact, now I think about it, the library setting is sadly neglected by fiction writers in general. How about The Dewey Code, The curious incident of the rat in the stacks or The hitchikers guide to the information galaxy?. But, back to the point.

Well, actually there wasn't much of a point. This is all pretty much a preamble to this terrrible opening to a terrible novel penned by my own fair hand:

She didn't become a librarian for money, for ambition, or even for Dewey. She became a librarian because the moment she cast her eyes upon the papery pages and ink black words of a monograph for the first time, she felt true love. Now, adrift in a sea of shelves, she once more caressed The history and social influence of cod, fondling the masculinity of deep purple buckram with a trembling hand and cursing the readers who had left his pages dog-eared and spilt contraband Ribena on the tp verso. As salty tears began to fall and mingle with the sinful stain of sticky red beverage, she knew she had failed him and every other information resource she cared for. It was then she realised her aching soul could not bear to see this evil happen again, not to a book, a periodical, or, Library of Congress forbid, to the keyboard of a faithful opac. She gripped the keys to the library in her pocket tighter and tighter until she felt the jagged edges gouging her palm. The gaping door beckoned and she knew what she must do.

Pretty bad, hey? Anyone think they can compete with that for library-based twaddle?

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