Bewildering Stories

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Challenge 105

It will help to read Eric S. Brown’s “Price of Arrogance” first, but it’s not absolutely necessary.

How’d we get into this fix, anyway?

In every contribution in this issue you can find a link of some kind between the story, poem, article or discussion and Aleks’s catastrophic predicament in Eric S. Brown’s “Price of Arrogance.” That goes for Gaia, as well, although you have to be familiar with the circumstances in which the story takes place.

  1. Add up the authors’ approaches to “doomsday.” How do you think issue 105 stacks up generally in terms of optimism and pessmism?

  2. What causes of catastrophe are depicted? What kinds of solutions are proposed?

  3. Which contributions seem optimistic? Which are pessimistic? Why?

“The Price of Arrogance” qualifies as flash fiction by its structure, but technically it’s too long. It could serve as the ending of a “larger story,” one that began long before Aleks came to the space station. And such a story would obviously have to be conceived as a tragedy. How would you imagine the beginning and middle of the story? In particular, how would you develop the character of Aleks to justify his tragic end?

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