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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 276

Touching Rain

  1. In O. J. Anderson’s “Dead Wrong,” if the giant crabs are made of the same materials as normal-sized crabs, do Jack Creed and his squad really have to beat a hasty retreat? Hint: consider the law of scale models.

  2. In Frank Roger’s “Space Beach”:

    1. Okay, what is the moral when incontrovertible evidence of space aliens is turned into a theme park?
    2. Complete this paraphrase of Oscar Wilde: “If this is the way humanity treats its space aliens, it...”

  3. In John W. Steele’s “The Supplication”:

    1. The magic symbolism of the ending does not have a counterpart or foreshadowing anywhere else in the story. Does that invalidate the ending or does the force majeure reinforce the moral?
    2. What is the moral? Hint: it”s not that grave robbing is bad; such a moral would be trivial.
    3. How does the ending differ from that of Gary Inbinder’s “To Raise a Storm,” in issue 221?
    4. Experiment: rewrite the ending in a realistic mode. The problem: Ed has been very smart and lucky in his career as a grave robber. How can he be stopped other than by accident?
  4. Robert A. Dollesin’s “Café Lost”:

    1. Can you remember other stories in Bewildering Stories that echo the theme of a couple that don’t communicate?
    2. List the references that utilize the sense of touch rather than that of sight.
  5. In Tim Simmons’ “Dishes in the Sync”:

    1. Kevin apparently goes “out of sync” with time only when Janice leaves the house. Why might that be?
    2. How does the ending resemble that of “The Supplication”?
    3. What would the story become if it were written in realistic mode; i.e. Janice returns home to find Kevin’s skeleton on the bed?

  6. Literary genres may be a marketing category or device today, as Tamara Sheehan says in “Defining Our Beloved Genre.” But have they always been that, and is that all they are?

Responses welcome!

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