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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 216

Tenth Man Standing

  1. A parting salute to Tamara Sheehan’s Tenth Man. Since Tamara has already provided an enormous official Challenge — and prizes! — in her contest, we’ll limit ourselves to five juicy questions, some of which are borrowed from Tamara’s list:
    1. What happens to Torven’s ring?
    2. What is Howie’s job? It’s not mentioned in the story, but one might hazard a guess or two.
    3. What is the function of Saul’s “familiar” in the story?
    4. The ending seems low-key after chapter 24. Would you change it at all? If so, how? Or does the ending seem fitting?
    5. Who is the “tenth man”?

  2. In Ian Arbuckle’s “China”:
    1. How does the story of Lucky parallel that of the narrator?
    2. What do the hole and its brink represent?
  3. How does Steve Thorn depict emotion in “A Ceiling Full of Stars,” and how does he avoid lapsing into sentimentality?

  4. What is Carl A. Puleo’s “Hank and Frank”: a story in rhyming verse, a poem that tells a story, a ballad, a mock epic... or what?

  5. How does O. J. Anderson keep the action in “X-Squad: Stay Dead” moving right along despite the necessary military jargon? Is it really necessary to understand what it all means in order to understand the story?

Responses welcome!

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