The year 2020 giveth, and it taketh away. Mostly taketh away, even in the world of literature, where an honor doled out annually for nearly 30 years has been nixed due to the coronavirus. The Guardian reports that the Literary Review has canceled its Bad Sex in Fiction Awards, which honor "poorly written, redundant, or downright cringeworthy passages of sexual description in modern fiction." The reason for this development: "The judges felt that the public had been subjected to too many bad things this year to justify exposing it to bad sex as well," the magazine notes in an explainer.
Past nominees and winners of the award, established in 1993 by then-editor Auberon Waugh and New York Magazine literary critic Rhoda Koenig, include author Stephen King, actor Ethan Hawke, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Morrissey. The magazine has a warning for sexed-up writers, however, noting that "the cancellation of the 2020 awards should not be taken as a license to write bad sex." A judges' rep adds that, "with lockdown regulations giving rise to all manner of novel sexual practices, the judges anticipate a rash of entries next year." If you really need your fix in the meantime, here are last year's winners. (Read more strange stuff stories.)