Bad Fiction

The results are in for the 2008 Bulwer-Litton Fiction Contest.  Apparently, the results were announced a few days ago, but as their site complains,

many newspapers have allowed themselves to be distracted by a large athletic contest being staged somewhere in Asia.

The contest is hosted by the Department of English and Comparative Literature at San Jose State, and honors the memory of writer Bulwer-Litton:

An international literary parody contest, the competition honors the memory (if not the reputation) of Victorian novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873). The goal of the contest is childishly simple: entrants are challenged to submit bad opening sentences to imaginary novels. Although best known for “The Last Days of Pompeii” (1834), which has been made into a movie three times, originating the expression “the pen is mightier than the sword,” and phrases like “the great unwashed” and “the almighty dollar,” Bulwer-Lytton opened his novel Paul Clifford (1830) with the immortal words that the “Peanuts” beagle Snoopy plagiarized for years, “It was a dark and stormy night.”

This year’s winner is Garrison Spik, who turned in this lovely piece:

Theirs was a New York love, a checkered taxi ride burning rubber, and like the city their passion was open 24/7, steam rising from their bodies like slick streets exhaling warm, moist, white breath through manhole covers stamped “Forged by DeLaney Bros., Piscataway, N.J.”

Read them all for a good chuckle.

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