With a shortlist of awfully dirty contenders, this year’s Bad Sex in Fiction Award has officially been announced by Britain’s Literary Review.
Manil Suri’s The City of Devi has won, with this cliched and hyperbolic excerpt:
Surely supernovas explode that instant, somewhere, in some galaxy. The hut vanishes, and with it the sea and the sands – only Karun’s body, locked with mine, remains. We streak like superheroes past suns and solar systems, we dive through shoals of quarks and atomic nuclei. In celebration of our breakthrough fourth star, statisticians the world over rejoice.
Ah, the old ‘sex is like space travel’ metaphor. That’ll do it.
I don’t think I would have picked the Suri one though. Looking back at the whole shortlist the one that bugs me the most is Motherland by William Nicholson for its terrible dialogue.
I love you, Nell. I love you. I love you.
And there are a few others that definitely would have made it to my ‘Whoa-What-Hmm-No’ list (House of Earth by Woody Guthrie and The Victoria System by Eric Reinhardt, I’m looking at you). Even the one I picked in my last post on this award were sillier than the Suri excerpt.
Let’s face it. Getting the right blend of naughty into your nice writing is probably really hard. I haven’t got that far in my writing journey yet. But hats off to those who have. Even if it was rubbish.
With another year down, we can only look forward to whatever bad sex 2014 has in store. I’m excited.