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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 274

Forces of Nature

  1. In Crystalwizard’s Spellbound:

    1. The relationship between Lynda and Jason has gotten off to a terrible start. What must Lynda learn and do in order to repair it?
    2. In chapter 5, to what extent does Lynda treat Jason’s parents in the same way she treats Jason?
  2. In Bertil Falk’s Under the Green Sun of Slormor, how might the grandfather’s dreams in chapter 2 tie in with what we’ve learned about his family in chapter 1?

  3. In Clyde Andrews’ “The Eclipse”:

    1. Roy’s father turns out to be understanding, even kindly. And yet Roy has denied his father the benefit of the doubt: instead, he has turned to binge drinking out of helplessness and resentment at feeling neglected. What needs to be established to explain, if not justify, Roy’s behavior?
    2. Is it plausible that Roy’s father would neglect his invalid wife and leave her in the care of Roy, who he knows is an alcoholic?
    3. In part 4, is it plausible that the security guard would defy a direct order from his immediate superior and deny him access to the space probe loading dock?
  4. In Eric J Kregel’s “The Shadow of Geordie Harris”:

    1. In part 1, what stereotypes of North American Indians (in Canada, “aboriginals” or “First Nations”) are implicitly evoked in part 1? There are at least two.
    2. In part 2, what is the tension between Geordie Harris and his wife? Why might it raise questions about Geordie Harris’s character?
  5. In part 1 of Shannon J. Prince’s “As Beautiful as Fish in a Dream”:

    1. Fern is described as “a solemn, strange, silent child.” Disregarding the alliteration, why might omitting “strange” strengthen the description?
    2. “Men and women give Fern terrible looks”: how might “terrible” be replaced to strengthen the description?
  6. In Catherine Borden’s “Garden Hostilities”:

    1. What is the function of the story within the story?
    2. Explain the joke about the car, at the end.
  7. To what extent does Dale L. Gillis’s “Mimir by Moonlight” differ from the old Germanic myth?

  8. In Thomas B. White’s “Clowns of Apocalypse”:

    1. Rewrite the ending to make the story more than an absurd “happening.”
    2. Is the two-part division — “story” and “play” — justifiable?
  9. In Ed Aymar’s “The Drop,” is Sharon’s jealous rage justified? Or is she insane? Or what?

  10. Is John Ritchie’s “Mirror Image” a story or a vignette?

    1. In either case, who is at the center of the action: the narrator or Stephanie?
    2. What dramatic purposes are achieved by the mirror’s moving from the bedroom to the living room seemingly of its own volition?
    3. Given what the mirror shows, what might the narrator do?
    4. What might Stephanie see in the mirror?
    5. Can the narrator even trust the mirror?
  11. What is the difference in the nature and effect of the imagery in John Stocks’ “Sheffield Flood” and Dudgeon’s “Prairie Sky”?

  12. How does Kenneth Nichols’ “The Five Stages of a Writing Workshop” apply to the official Challenge?

Responses welcome!

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