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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 261

Back in the Saddle Again

  1. The poet Apollonides in Claës Lundin’s Oxygen and Aromasia seems to come straight out of 18th- and 19th-century travel literature, but the poet is a stranger in his own land, so to speak.

    1. How does Lundin exaggerate the newspaper business of his own time for the purpose of satire?

    2. Lundin describes in what amounts to detail the process of creating computer-generated poetry. The theme recurs in literature. Stanislaw Lem gives examples of such poetry in his Cyberiad, but the poems are excellent! Did Lundin miss an opportunity by sparing the poet and the reader examples of 24th-century computer poetry?

  2. What is the role of the “Kranstons” in Thomas J. Keller’s “What to Believe”? Make a list: what current cultural phenomena does the story satirize?

  3. Does the ending of Crystalwizard’s “Breaking Points” seem plausible in light of the captor’s (captress’s?) previous treatment of her prisoner?

  4. Does the change in scene at the end of Kyle Hemmings’ “They Don’t Catch Colds in Texas” come as a surprise after the scenes in the psychiatric hospital? What is the double meaning of “head mistress”?

  5. Since Sarah Hilary’s “Yesterday’s Man” mainly looks askance at the effects of precognition, how might you have ended or otherwise written the story to avoid including euthanasia?

  6. Is Mel Waldman’s “Beautiful Place by the Sea” a poem or an essay with arbitrary line breaks? What do you think Bewildering Stories’ editorial policy ought to be about such works?

Responses welcome!

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