Winning entries of 2005 Bulwer-Lytton FIction Contest
1982 the English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored
the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, a whimsical literary competition
that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst
of all possible novels. The contest is named after Bulwer-Lytton who is
infamous for his immortal opening sentence "It was a dark and stormy
night." in the book Paul Clifford.
Winning entry: Dan McKay of Fargo, NDAs
he stared at her ample bosom, he daydreamed of the dual Stromberg
carburetors in his vintage Triumph Spitfire, highly functional yet
pleasingly formed, perched prominently on top of the intake manifold,
aching for experienced hands, the small knurled caps of the oil
dampeners begging to be inspected and adjusted as described in chapter
seven of the shop manual.
Runner-Up:Mitsy Rae of Danbury, NEWhen
Detective Riggs was called to investigate the theft of a trainload of
Native American fish broth concentrate bound for market, he solved the
case almost immediately, being that the trail of clues led straight to
the trainmaster, who had both the locomotive and the Hopi tuna tea.
Grand Panjandrum's Special Award: Ken Aclin of Shreveport, LAIndia,
which hangs like a wet washcloth from the towel rack of Asia, presented
itself to Tex as he landed in Delhi (or was it Bombay?), as if it
mattered because Tex finally had an idea to make his mark and fortune
and that idea was a chain of steak houses to serve the millions and he
wondered, as he deplaned down the steep, shiny, steel steps, why no one
had thought of it before.
Winner: Adventure Category: Bryan Semrow of Oshkosh, WICaptain
Burton stood at the bow of his massive sailing ship, his weathered face
resembling improperly cured leather that wouldn't even be used to make
a coat or something.
Runner-Up: Eric Winter Minneapolis, MNIt
was high noon in the jungles of South India when I began to recognize
that if we didn't find water for our emus soon, it wouldn't be long
before we would be traveling by foot; and with the guerilla warriors
fast on our heals, I was starting to regret my decision to use poultry
Dishonorable Mention: Mitsy Rae Danbury, NEWhen
the great Italian archeologist, Giovanni Battista de Rossi, broke
through the centuries of choking rubble and rock in the abandoned
catacombs under Rome and the dust cleared, he held his blazing torch
high, pickup a flat, dirt-encrusted object with a row of teeth,
examined it with his educated eye, and exclaimed, "By the saints, I do
believe I've discovered another ancient kitty comb."