The 2017 Winners

In the seventeen years that the Lyttle Lytton Contest has run, there have been years when the winning entry was obvious and years when there have been a number of strong contenders, but I can’t recall a year like this, when I received no fewer than six entries that fully deserved to win.  So let’s get to them!  While normally I start with the winner, I think that this year I’ll build up to it a bit and present the other finalists first, beginning with this one:

“Climate change is real,” squawked the lady scientist to an auditorium crammed full of human sheep who didn’t question a word she said. “And I can ‘prove’ it.”

Harper Cole

I once watched a video on Youtube in which four big‐name comedians talked shop, and one of them brought up an act he’d seen in some terrible club: a guy with a guitar, strumming some Otis Redding chords and singing, “Sittin’ on a cock ’cause I’m gay…”  All four comedians cracked up laughing⁠—but one was soon horrified to discover that the others weren’t doing so ironically.  No, no!, he kept insisting.  I’m not laughing at his joke⁠—I’m laughing at your joke, about a comedian who was so bad that he put a joke that stupid in his act!  And this is how the Lyttle Lytton Contest works as well⁠—the idea is for us to laugh with the real entrant and at the fictional writer.  This mechanism does double duty where political entries like Harper’s are concerned.  As Duncan Black has pointed out, few conservatives choose their policy positions with an affirmative agenda in mind; their stances on the issues are whatever they think will piss off liberals.  Like, who could possibly be in favor of air pollution⁠—not just accepting it as a tradeoff, but actively enjoying putting soot into the atmosphere?  But liberals speak out against air pollution, tribalism kicks in, and you end up with a bunch of goons “rolling coal” while the commenters on their videos chortle about how mad the libtards must be.  Similar rhetoric does of course get directed the other way, but it’s not a symmetrical exchange.  At least in the U.S., progressive political advocacy tends to consist of lobbying for things like renewable energy and single-payer health care and free higher education, while conservative political advocacy tends to consist of railing against and mocking progressives for wanting those things.

The upshot of this is that Lyttle Lytton entries that attempt to parody right-wing polemic tend to take on the voice of a conservative attempting to lampoon liberals and faceplanting in the effort⁠—that is, the entries mock the fictional author for being bad at mocking things.  Harper’s fictional author is so eager to tear those silly libs a new one that virtually every word is over the top.  I mean, the “the” is okay.  But look at all the awfulness packed into that short opening: you’ve got the old-fashioned condescension of “lady scientist” that tips into full‐on misogyny when paired with “squawked”, followed by a detour into “high school kid with black nail polish” territory with “human sheep”, and let’s not forget the scare-quotes around “prove”… and all of this on top of the fact that our imaginary author is scoffing at the reality of climate change, which used to be sort of like denying that the world is round, and now is exactly like denying that the world is round thanks to the legions of people who have come out of the woodwork in the past year to unashamedly declare that globes are a hoax.  The “who didn’t question a word she said” may be my favorite part, though.

Other entries didn’t achieve quite the same parodic density as Harper’s but were still composed along the same lines.  Here’s one:

The millennial squirmed, but there was no entitling her way out of the firm grip of reason.

Gunnar Þór Magnússon

The Objectivist wing checks in.  Man, remember when everyone was freaked out that the U.S. had gone so far off the rails that Rand Paul might be elected president?

Tanner was triggered once again, but a microaggression wouldn’t stop him this time.

Mark Hemmert

I’m actually not 100% certain which side this entry is intended to parody⁠—is it making fun of Tumblr-speak, or making fun of a fictitious author writing a whole book making fun of Tumblr-speak?⁠—but I think it works either way.  As irritating as it is that so many right-wingers seem to consider it the height of comedy to recite supposed liberal buzzwords⁠—“Aw, are you triggered? Do you need your safe space?”⁠—it is pretty facepalmy to run across people using those terms in a manner that shows where the stereotype came from.

Here’s a political entry of a different sort:

It was autumn, and the last leaf of liberty had fallen from the tree of tyranny onto the dirt of destruction.

Eric Fegan

The overdone metaphor (sort of a bad political cartoon in prose form) and equally overdone alliteration are what jumped out at me at first glance, but when I actually read it through I was also impressed by its senselessness.  The leaves of liberty spring from the tree of tyranny?  Actually, come to think of it, Plato said something like that in the Republic, except he had it the other way around.

One more political entry, this time another finalist:

This is the story of how I found my Father in Heaven, but it begins with my mommy, lying back as the cruel forceps tore apart my still forming yet passionately beating human heart.

Aimee Lim

Fun fact: Aimee’s novel is imaginary, but Carly Fiorina swears she’s read it.

My only problem with this entry is that it’s less ridiculous than the “today my mommy killed me” tracts that the anti-abortion activists used to hand out in front of my high school.  I changed my mind on abortion a few times as I was growing up, and one of these tracts actually flipped me to the pro-choice side for a while.  It was the “I want to be named Katie” line that did it⁠—I didn’t know much about fetal development at age twelve, but I did know that an embryo had no means by which to familiarize itself with geographically and generationally appropriate names and select one.  And I figured that if one side of a debate had to stoop to transparent deception in establishing its fundamental premise (i.e., that a fetus is as fully sentient as a school-aged child) then that side must not have any valid arguments to muster.  This logic doesn’t hold up⁠—a position may be held by different people for different reasons, some valid and some not⁠—but it is better logic than “a crumb of bread is bread, so therefore a cell of a human is a human”, which was also in the flyer.

But that’s enough politics for now.  Recent developments in that sphere make it all the more tempting to escape into a world of fantasy.  This one seems pretty nice:

Tagg could scarce believe his young eyes as they met the feast laid out richly before him: all manner of mealbreads, ripest canteloons, and⁠—by the Star!⁠—an entire bandersnort, carved and dripping.

Aidan Lockett

As you’ve seen, some of these entries prompt me to spend multiple paragraphs blathering on about what I liked about them.  For the entry above, one word will suffice: “mealbreads”.

Dudley was a magician (not a wizard like in those Harry Potter books, and also he didn’t have a wand like in them), who was poor.

Shaked Koplewitz

As the latest statistics on income ineq— wait, I said no more politics.  Anyway, I think this semifinalist could actually lose the “who was poor” part⁠—it made the cut on the basis of the “like in them”.

Quick tangent: I always wonder how entrants choose names for their characters.  A lot of the time they pick names that were very common long enough ago to have established themselves as generic⁠—for instance, coming up we have a Ted and a Mary, and while the popularity of those names has plunged in recent decades, they were at or near the top during my parents’ generation and even more so during that of my grandparents.  But of the less common names, what prompts entrants to pick the particular ones they do?  I guess with “Dudley” the answer is pretty easy, since it has “dud” in it, but in other cases it’s not so clear.  Take this one:

Neera was a born disruptor, ready to take things and make them 2.0.

Kevin Sands

“Neera” seems like it fits this sentence’s needs quite well, but I’m not entirely sure why.  The only Neera I’m aware of is Neera Tanden, and it’s not because of any associations with her.  (It occurs to me that while I wouldn’t expect “Neera” to become particularly common in the years to come, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if in the 2020s the preschools of Scarsdale and Westlake Village were to fill up with little boys named “Tanden”.)

Anyway, back to fantasy entries!

Thornmill Greyeyes was a proud elf.  His ears stood proud, his cock stood proud, but most of all his heart stood proud as he watched his bride mince down the isle with her ravishingly good looks.

Lilly Bolton

One of the most well‐known principles of comedy is the “rule of three”, which dictates that in a joke a list should consist of three items, with the funny one coming last.  The idea is that the first two items establish a pattern and the third one subverts it, like the bumper sticker: “I like poetry, long walks on the beach, and poking dead things with a stick.”  The first thing I love about Lilly’s entry is that it deviates from this tired formula by putting the most attention-grabbing item in the middle.  The second thing I love about Lilly’s entry is that a full read reveals that every item on the list is funny in its own way: the first for being dweeby, the second for being crass, and the third both for being sentimental and for being shoehorned in there to fit the pattern even though hearts can’t really “stand” as such.  And ending on “heart” means that we’re meant to take the entire sentence as romantic⁠—that we’re supposed to retroactively read the “ears” and “cock” as earnest, which may be the funniest thing of all.  The words “mince” and “with” (which treats the ravishingly good looks like she’s carrying them in her handbag) are amusing as well, though I’d argue that the “aisle”/“isle” swap probably distracts from the other sources of comedy more than it adds to them.  Still, all in all, this is a killer entry.  Reading it made my heart stand proud.  (About the other two things I’ll refrain from comment.)

This is kind of a tenuous transition, but I see that Lilly’s proud elf is named Thornmill Greyeyes, and a lot of entries this year focused on a character’s eye color (maybe because eye color was the focus of last year’s winner).  Here are a few of the best of these:

Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful princess named Annabelle.  She had lovely golden locks and sensuous blue eyes⁠—a sparkling Aryan jewel, just like you! :)

Davian Aw

I guess we’re not too far away from the days when e‐readers will be able to do iris scans and bar you from reading about Annabelle if you are judged insufficiently “sparkling”.

The mists ran like dew over her green-eyed scarlet locks.

J.R. Pascucci

I liked this one because “green‐eyed scarlet locks” is an egregious but completely believable error.  I have read very little fanfic but even I have encountered fanfic with very similar mistakes.

His tired blue-eyed gaze hit the lanky blonde and then turned to the brunette.

Aiva Sile

Points for “blue‐eyed gaze” and for the misuse of “hit”, but the main thing that landed this entry among the winners was this: a moment ago I mentioned fanfic, but even a lot of professional writing is overeager to establish the color of each character’s hair and eyes, and will often even reduce characters (female characters in particular) to their hair color.  It’s not hard to see why so many authors jump to announce each character’s hair and eye color as early as possible, at least in the 20% of the world where those things vary.  They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, but you can take a thousand pages and it’s still pretty unlikely that you’ll be able to convey a mental image of a character’s face much better than a police sketch.  But you can at least get those driver’s license stats in, and that’s enough to distinguish between different characters’ appearances at least as well as comic book artists other than George Perez.  Here are some Found entries along the same lines:

These liberated chestnut curls framed a handsome face made twice as radiant by the mysteries surely waiting just behind those light green eyes.

The Overton Window by Glenn Beck
quoted by Austin Stith

This doesn’t quite work as the first line of a novel.  I mean, obviously it doesn’t work at all, but normally that’s a good thing for this contest.  But without the reference to “these” curls, suggesting that we’re in the middle of a paragraph, this could have been the Found division winner, because while the eyes may be green, the prose is distinctly purple.

I slanted my eyes down to meet her big brown ones, which were slanted up.

Poison à la Carte by Rex Stout
quoted by Hillel Wayne

I’d say something similar about this one, except this actually is the first line of a published story.  How the hell did that happen?  I guess that by 1960 Rex Stout had made enough of a name for himself that editors were giving him the benefit of the doubt.  In this case they probably should have gone with the doubt.

And though this is a tangent to a tangent, now that we’ve reached the detective story I think I’ll throw in this year’s top entries in the detective genre before returning to the finalists:

The new client’s titties could make a grown man cry a river, and Detective Johnson was in his own personal Pacific Ocean of sexy.

Juliana Crask

This is impressively awful from start to finish, but what makes it particularly painful is its reference to a character’s “titties”, one of the worst words in the English language.  (Note to 2018 entrants: please do not send me hundreds of entries featuring the word “titties”.)

“I’ve got a feline these cats didn’t know what they unleashed when they picked a bone with me,” snarled Rex Steele, chief dogtective of the Paws Angeles Petlice Department.  “This time, it’s fursonal.”

Luke Fowler

The frightening thing is that I once had a gig working on a movie adaptation of a book that was very much like this.  That job paid well enough that I still have some of the proceeds stashed away, but the word “dogtective” is giving me flashbacks that are nasty enough that some of that money may have to go towards therapy.

Hashtags of the murder were all over my newsfeed.

Klaus Virtanen

One of the most popular entries in this contest’s early days was 2004’s “I know who the murderer is, Kevin blogged.”  But blogging is so 2004!  Klaus’s entry gets us caught up to… well, to 2007, at least.  Neera gives Klaus a thumbs-up.

“Yeah,” I said as he asked if my beautiful wife got murdered yesterday (she did).

Alan Gordon

He must have seen that hashtag trending.

Simon has been friends with Darkness for a long time, like in the song “The Sound of Silence” by the protagonist’s namesake & Garfunkel.

Bjorn Edstrom

After seventeen years and thousands upon thousands of entries, it’s rare that I receive an entry based on a twist I haven’t seen before.  Even rarer is a twist as brilliant as “the protagonist’s namesake & Garfunkel”.  Bravo.

There have been other entries built around pop culture references like this⁠—the Space: 1999 entry back in 2009 springs to mind⁠—but I had to include this one as well:

This is my coming-of-age story.  Not literally, like the movie “Big”, starring Tom Hanks, or the movie “13 Going On 30”, starring Jennifer Garner, although those are both good movies.

Kyle Boyd

The “although those are both good movies” is hilarious to me.  This might have still made it onto the page without that bit at the end, but with it, this may well be the top honorable mention.

I’ll get to the remaining honorable mentions in a moment, but since I’ve now revealed every finalist except for the winner, let’s finish off that set.  The winner of the 2017 Lyttle Lytton Contest is:

1.  YOU, the Anagramancer, stare down the invading MANTICORE: Will you ROMANCE IT (turn to 123), give it CREMATION (turn to 213), or summon EROTIC MAN (turn to 312)?

Stephen Wort

Why did this entry edge out the other finalists?  Because it matched their laugh quotient (“summon EROTIC MAN” made me crack up as much as “mealbreads”) but suggested an even worse book than the others did.  A choose your own adventure book whose storylines and page sequence are determined through anagrams?  Torture!  Anagrams draw attention to just how arbitrary English orthography is⁠—like, look at the phonetic values in the four words (as I pronounce them):

Letter A C E I M N O R T
MANTICORE æ̃ k (silent) ə m n ɔ ɹ t
ROMANCE IT æ̃ s (silent) ɪ m n ɹ
CREMATION ɛɪ k i (silent) m n ə̃ ɹ ʃ
EROTIC MAN æ̃ ə˞ ɪ m n ɑ ɹ ɾ

Not only do two‐thirds of the letters change values, but two of them represent a different value for each of the four words!  (And that R is only stable because I’m from California and have a rhoticized accent.)  So a whole book about an “Anagramancer” whose adventures are dictated by the rearrangement of these hazily defined symbols… gah, it’d be linguistic Calvinball.  What a terrible, terrible book that would be!  Ergo, we have our winner.

But we still have lots of honorable mentions left to reveal!  Where to start?  Well, now that we’ve summoned EROTIC MAN, this seems like the obvious candidate:

His steel-corded muscles pressed into her body, so close there was scarcely room to breathe beneath the pillowy swell of her breasts.

Alexis Feynman

That may not be a Pacific Ocean of sexy, but surely it’s at least a Quabbin Reservoir or something.

The hot Florida sun battered my recently bruised shoulders that were a part of the activities where my virginity was lost.

Tammy Green

Beautifully awkward.  The deflowering‐related program activities are sensational, but let’s not overlook the extra little touch Tammy adds with the word “where”.

“The time was now and the location was here; I’m ready,” thought nubile, 18-year-old Jenny as she lay fertilely on Johnny’s bed, blithely unready for the future.

Craig Handy

Judging from the tense of the first two verbs in her thought bubble, Jenny wasn’t ready for the present either!

Normally Frank was as happy as the next guy to have an erection, meaning very happy, but this was ridiculous.

Sixty Days and Counting by Kim Stanley Robinson
quoted by Juan Hernandez

It isn’t the over-explanation of “meaning very happy” that landed this entry a spot on the winners’ page⁠—that’s pretty clearly a deliberate joke.  What makes this a Lyttle Lytton sentence is that the joke suggests that KSR is oddly unfamiliar with how male sexuality works.  Like, the mere fact of having an erection doesn’t generally make the next guy very happy, unless he’s getting over a bout of impotence or something.  Often erections are inconvenient⁠—there are longstanding clichés about how they make it difficult to urinate in the morning and about how they embarrass middle-school boys who sit near pretty girls in math class.  Sparks wrote a whole song about the angst they can produce.  I’m going to stop talking about erections now.

I first laid eyes on her at a mutual friend’s wedding.  Her body shone through her dress; it wasn’t unbecoming, but you could see enough.

Maxwell B.

You know the old joke about how a millihelen is the unit of beauty necessary to launch one ship?  I was going to make a joke about a milli‐[something] being the ability to see 0.1% of the way through a dress, and then tried to think of someone famous for wearing a see-through dress to fill in the “[something]”, and the name I came up with was Rose McGowan.  That is how current my pop culture knowledge is.  I am old.

She wanted to be loved like most women do, but was mostly ignored like the Alpini in the 12th Isonzo-Battle.

Dominikus Plaschg

Yep, we’ve reached the bad simile portion of the contest!  Look out, here comes another:

“I’m breaking up with you”⁠—her words shot into my heart, like bullets from the gun that her mouth was like.

Jake Scott

Your heart will have a hard time standing proud after that!

Her wit was sharp like a lawnmower blade⁠—it could cut you down to size (which she could adjust, like a lawnmower).


Will you cut your foe down to size like a LAWNMOWER BLADE (turn to 456), summon an ABLER LEWD WOMAN to do it for you (turn to 546), or dispense with wit and instead BELLOW NEW DRAMA (turn to 645)?

“Oh no,” Alex gasped when realization crashed over her like the ocean wave soon to be killing her.

Sarah Tizzard

This translator isn’t taking any liberties with the original Latin, is she?

Like the Jews, the corals of the Great Barrier Reef observe a lunar calendar.

The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert
quoted by George Menz

Yes, though I hear the zooxanthellates are thinking of switching to the Gregorian. 

I dunno.  Maybe this didn’t seem like such a big deal back before Nazis took over the executive branch, but in 2017 it seems to me that whenever you find yourself starting a sentence with the words “Like the Jews”, it might be time to reach for the backspace.

“Ah, little Abu,” sighed wisely the Master as his eyes roved the desert sands.  “When will it be that the Muslim, the Christian, and the Jew learn to listen together to the sound of the wind?”

Benjamin Smith

I guess it won’t be long now that Jared Kushner’s on the case.

So where were we?  Similes?  All right then:

Just as the equine bott fly invades its host equus to inject its larvae, Ted’s glowing aura now infected Mary’s every thought.

Erin Davis

Still probably a more advisable way to start a sentence than “Like the Jews”.

“I only wish He would understand me like you do,” Rebecca sighed, twirling her fingers not only through her auburn hair but also the horse’s.


And in trying to follow the horse thread we’ve somehow ended up back at hair color.  Wheels within wheels, man.  I’m intrigued by the capitalization of the word “He”, which suggests that it’s God who doesn’t understand Rebecca as well as the horse.  Perhaps she would have better luck with one of the horse gods we learned about in the 2014 edition of the contest.

Rebecca’s lament signals that we’ve reached the part of the contest in which people are sad.

There she was, staring at the sunset, wondering why it was blue… then she remembered she was staring at it through the sad filter of her tears.


Almo gripped the hysteric female. “Tranquilize yourself!”

Peter Sonnburg

These were obviously meant as the beginnings of two separate imaginary novels, but they do kind of work together, don’t they?  In any case, the misogyny of Peter’s imaginary author to the contrary, even the most macho of men are not immune to heartbreak:

The newly single Macho Man certainly wasn’t ready for the pain caused when Miss Elizabeth hit him with an elbow from the emotional top ropes.

Katelyn Lammie

I don’t know anything about professional wrestling⁠—I only recognized Randy “Macho Man” Savage from a Meat Midgets song⁠—so I went to Wikipedia to learn about what Katelyn’s entry (which made it to the winners’ page on the basis of its metaphor) was actually referring to.

Words about a fictional storyline involving the characters that Randall Poffo and Elizabeth Hulette played in professional wrestling: over 4800

Words about their actual real-life marriage and divorce: 131

Anyway, for some reason there were lots and lots of lachrymose entries this year⁠—here’s another one:

The rain was pouring, but I cried harder, my tears sweeping away into the gutter where I belonged.

Tristan Hill

After all that crying, it’s important to stay hydrated:

Susan drank water, the liquid of life, unaware that soon death would be hers.

A.R. Van Rhyn

I love “the liquid of life”⁠—that whole sentence is so hokey and yet so very believable.

The day began like any other. My alarm clock rang at 6:51 a.m. and James Brown told me that he felt good⁠—he knew that he would.  If only I myself had known that later, I would not feel good.


I find it hard to imagine feeling worse than when the alarm clock goes off.

“So the ‘establishment’ likes opera, huh?” I thought to myself.  That’s when I had the epiphany that started it all.  “Well, let's see how they handle a rock opera!”


Or as Neera would call it, Opera 2.0.

Oh, hey.  Somehow we only have one original entry left.  And here it is:

G0bl1n always told me: “You can’t speedrun life, Ph4z0r; not even tool-assisted.”

Dawson Smith

So let’s conclude by wrapping up the Found division!

It was too peaceful out here, surrounded by the vacuum of space and with only the continual hum of the twin ion drives breaking the silence.

Wild Space: Star Wars Legends (The Clone Wars)
quoted by Marck Dorvil

In the first edition of this page I had a joke here, but I’ve noticed that a number of people have objected that this sentence is fine because someone inside a spaceship would be able to hear the hum of the engines.  The point I was trying to make obliquely, and will now instead make straightforwardly, is that that doesn’t matter, due to the way the brain (yes, yes, #notallbrains) processes information.  Let’s walk through the sentence.  “It was too peaceful out here”⁠—okay, why?, we wonder.  What made it so peaceful?  The next phrase seems to provide the answer: “surrounded by the vacuum of space”⁠—oh, aha!  What do we know about the vacuum of space?  You can’t breathe, liquids boil away… and, of course, there’s no sound.  “In space no one can hear you scream” and all that.  The fact that the first phrase emphasized the “peace” (automatic association: “and quiet”) of the surroundings out here really hammers home the point: silent because of vacuum, silent because of vacuum.  So when we reach the end of the sentence⁠—“breaking the silence”, the obvious referent is the silence of the vacuum of space.  Yes, a moment later we realize that doesn’t make sense and look for another referent, and discover that, okay, it could be the silence within the spaceship, i.e., the spaceship which hasn’t been mentioned and whose existence we can only gather by inference.  But that’s too late.  Our brains have already gone “buh?”.  Writers have to make sure that their prose works associatively as well as logically, because the brain is not a very logical bone and all the online commenters in the world saying “Actually!” will not prevent readers from stumbling.

She turned to her side and watched the people nearest to her, starting the process of listening.

anonymous entrant quoting a friend’s story

I initially had this flagged as an honorable mention in the Original category⁠—there have been several years when I’ve grouped together all the entries based around awkward phrasings and I figured this entry would be the centerpiece of that group.  It was only when I started to put the winners page together that I looked more closely and discovered that this was a Found entry.  And it’s this sort of thing that makes me wonder whether I put more of a premium on plausibility than I should.  Like, “Susan drank water, the liquid of life” got major bonus points from me because it was so funny and yet I could totally imagine a real author writing that line and thinking it was good stuff.  I would not have said the same about “starting the process of listening”⁠—I’d have argued that it stretches credibility a wee bit too far.  And yet!

Some time before the Mega-Quake of ’26 erased Neo-Tokyo from the Matrix, the first unsuspecting CEO was sitting in his New Nippon garden enjoying his ’trodes when he was downloaded by the enemy.

Rim by Alexander Besher
quoted by Kaitlin Mac Donald

Yeah, see?  This reads like a contest entry⁠—like the author saw that there was a 200-character limit and tried to pack in as much parody as possible of that stripe of sci-fi in which Japan becomes the world’s pre-eminent superpower and everyone uses futuristic terminology like “download” and “megabyte”.  But no: as Kaitlin points out, “This entry is the actual second sentence of an actual published novel.”  I read up on it and one reviewer flagged up phrases such as “the globes of her derriere” and “the lubricated third rail of her shaven vulva”.  Gadzooks, did someone summon EROTIC MAN again?

And yet ultimately I had to give the nod to this entry as the winner of the Found division this year:

When settlers first came to the shores of North America, they found several things.  They found a land inhabited by an exotic people that was rich in resources and in wolves.

Managing Our Natural Resources
quoted anonymously

That first sentence all by itself is terrific.  Yes, those settlers found several things!  I think North America had as many as eight or nine things at that point!  Then you have the inhabitants described as “an exotic people” (summon EXOTIC MAN!), which is, shall we say, not the most felicitous phrasing the authors could have come up with.  I mean, just look at how the in‐habitants are described as ex‐otic⁠—etymologically, that’s almost an oxymoron.  By definition, the settlers were the ones exotic to North America, not the indigenes.  Even if you take the charitable interpretation and propose that it is the settlers and not the authors who view the indigenes as exotic, it raises the question of why theirs are the eyes we’re being encouraged to see through.  The authors may not have had any ill intent, but it does seem like they could have stood to question some of their assumptions.  (Though I suppose I should be grateful they didn't go with “like the Jews, an exotic people”.)

All of which is really just a footnote to the glorious ending to the second sentence, “rich in resources and in wolves”.  I love the idea that these authors had a mental Family Feud board listing the eight or nine things that North America had, and that one of the answers was “resources” and another was “wolves”.  And number three?  Mealbreads.

That concludes the contest for 2017!  If you enjoy the Lyttle Lytton Contest, please consider supporting it by tossing a few cents at my Patreon account, the proceeds from which allow me to devote time to this and other projects.  One recent project was publishing a new, rewritten ebook edition of my novel Ready, Okay!, so if you’re at all curious about what I get up to when I’m not curating Lyttle Lytton entries, check it out.  And with the plugs out of the way⁠—many thanks to all the entrants, as well as to the posters, rebloggers, and retweeters who help to spread the word about this contest.  My deep appreciation for all of your contributions to this contest over the years is real.  And I can “prove” it!

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