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Winning entries of 2005 Bulwer-Lytton FIction Contest

Since 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, ND

As 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, NE

When 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, LA

India, 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, WI

Captain 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, MN

It 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 for transportation.

Dishonorable Mention: Mitsy Rae Danbury, NE

When 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."