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Turkey Awards!

Read the 2016 "Winners"

2016 Turkey Award Photos


The Turkey Awards are Chessiecon's own version of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction contest. If you need some inspiration, check out the 2015 Bulwer-Lytton contest winners!.


Rules for the Chessiecon Turkey Award contest:

  1. Entries shall be imagined as the worst possible opening to the worst possible SF/F novel (n)ever written. Contestants may make as many entries as desired, but each submission should be clearly delineated from others. Only one dubious prize will be awarded per entrant regardless of number of entries.
  2. Each entry may consist of a single sentence or a paragraph not to exceed 80 words in length.
  3. Each entry must be original work, and not previously published or entered into The Turkey Awards.
  4. Entrants should strongly resist the temptation to work with puns based on Edward Bulwer-Lytton's famous opening to "Paul Clifford", ("It was a dark and stormy night...") or Jim Thies' "The Eye of Argon".
  5. Entries may be made by e-mail or by surface mail. E-mail submissions should be made in the body of the message, not an attachment, and should be sent to: turkeys@chessiecon.org with the subject line of "Turkey Award Submission(s)". Surface mail submissions should be sent by post card or letter to: TSFS, Inc. PO Box 83032 Gaithersburg, MD 20883-3032 Attn: Turkey Award Submission(s). Entries should also be clearly marked with the entrant's name.
  6. Contest entries will be presented and judged at a panel at Chessiecon 2017.
  7. Contest judges are not eligible to win.
  8. Dubious prizes will be awarded for 3rd-Worst, 2nd-Worst and Worst Place.

2016 Turkey Award "Winners"

Dishonorable Mention - Tom Zych

Katsuhiro Aigon was a pirate and he was a good one. The best pirate captain sailing the South China Sea, in his humble opinion. There were some captains who were better navigators; some who were better in storms; at least one was a better fighter. But none---*none*---were more *feared* than he was. Every sailor in these waters dreaded to hear the "Arr!" of Aigon.


3rd Worst Place - Jan Whiteley

Svark mused in his mind (where the thoughts rattled like a single angry magenta marble in an overly large dice cup) that this would probably be his last day on what could have passed for Earth. The remarkably Earth-like atmosphere had rapidly begun to thin alarmingly obviously the result of a major technionic break and he had no visible means of support (such as a spacesuit with the appropriate oxygen mix) that could prolong or prevent his demise.


2nd Worst Place - Thane Tuttle

Klaxons squealed. Fingering his alarm, he confidently strode out of bed. In the mirror stood a slythy, saturnine, imperially-thin man with spikily-coiffed hair, and shining, dark, piercing eyes, which were possessed of a darkness that shone piercingly. Wait. He was staring at his Twilight poster again. His dog meowed, and he realized the neighbor's tentaclecat, T'chaql'gkr, had shimmyslimed through the bulkhead. Again. He peered at his astrowatch. It was spacetime to teleport for neutron sewer duty.


Worst Place - Eric Strong

She stands on red rusty verdant lifeless dust, muscles ruffling in Martian wind, and sky blackening the Dark Tower ahead, alone as a lone wolf. But this is just a feeling, a wrong one, because his buddy Cart'her'sson helpfully explains, "As you know, J'hon, the Diffraction Gradient protects from radiation and also Marsworms. But Cart'her, though he was a wizened old space elf, didn't dare guess that their true quest was the Multidimensional Alpha-Corona-Gamma Uncertainty Flux-Fissile Inertial Nanobot.


Turkey Award Photo

Jo Hogan, presenter; Eric Strong, Worst Place; Thane Tuttle, 2nd Worse; Jan Whiteley, 3rd Worst; Tom Zych, Dishonorable Mention; Beth Jenkins Chandler, presenter