Bewildering Stories

Challenge 239

Wash Your Hands

  1. In Gary Inbinder’s “Noble Lies”:

    1. In what way is the hand-to-hand combat typical of action films?

    2. The first Algolian, a battle-scarred, hairy two hundred and fifty pound hulk, charged Ludwig and slashed at his throat...

      How would you describe the Algolian if you did not want to bother having him weigh in before the fight?

    3. In Chapter 1, part 2, Aurelia asks Luddy:

      “Isn’t it true you were raised by the Republic; that in fact, your natural parents have played little or no part in your education and upbringing?”

      The following section tells us that the answer is far from a simple “No”; the truth is much more complex. Aurelia then orders Luddy to murder his own parents in a surreptitious execution for alleged treason. Luddy’s reaction:

      Ludwig succumbed to her presence; he held her, kissed her soft, sun-bronzed neck just below the ear

      That’s skating on thin ice: does the scene raise questions about Luddy’s character, or does it make him cold-blooded and repellent? In what incident in the Prologue does Luddy make a selfless, considerate gesture?

  2. In Tamara Sheehan’s “The Man in the Mirror

    1. What is the function of the mirror?
    2. Won’t Hermes have to give Pheidippides a head start after clearing customs?
    3. Toronto and Pearson Airport are normally windy enough to clear out smog. Why might it mentioned in the story other than to divert tourists to British Columbia?
  3. Do Lambic and Omorphia come out of David Burnham’s “Dream Girl” with entirely clean hands? Can you think of an alternate ending in which they do?

  4. Is Sophie Bachard’s “Little Boy” an implicit condemnation of using the atomic bomb or does it show the inadvertently cruel irony in a name?

  5. In Angela N. Hunt’s “Alice Assassin,” What is Alice’s motivation? Does she hold personal grudges? Or is she a mercenary hit woman? Or is she a terrorist?

  6. In Cherri Randall’s “I Had Bigfoot’s Love Child,” why does the narrator leave Bigfoot? Is she insecure, manipulative, or is she looking for something?

  7. Is Jeff Haas’s “The Civilized World” basically a joke on the reader’s cultural expectations or does it depict the rationale of international relations?

  8. Is Sean M. Darnell’s “Anti-Thesis” fiction or non-fiction? Does it exhaust the logical possibilities of world-saving time travel?

  9. Why has Sully Michaels been hiding all alone in a bomb shelter in David Lovato’s “A Sheltered Life”? What does the ending explain or justify?


Responses welcome!

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