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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 295

Eating Your Way to Heaven

  1. How might Cyrano de Bergerac’s Moon-being, in “You Are Whom You Eat,” reply to Mel Waldman’s “Heaven and Hell”?

  2. In Fiona Davis’s “The Test,” what is the difference between childhood and adulthood according to the rite of passage depicted?

  3. Would you say that Michael Zerger’s “Blind Date” is the beginning of a larger story? How might it be made the ending of one?

  4. Is Patrick Downing’s “Unit Lost” the ending of a larger story? If so, what story might be resolved by this ending?

  5. In Slawomir Rapala’s “The Memory Remains”:

    1. What is the anachronism in the narrative at the beginning of part 3?

    2. Iskald is promoted with breath-taking celerity to the rank of captain of the king’s personal guards. We’re told only that he has “distinguished himself remarkably,” and yet his torments have been depicted in great detail in previous chapters. Is the reader supposed to believe that Iskald is already better, at age 19, than the king’s most seasoned veterans? Or are we supposed to have doubts about the king’s judgment?

    3. Shira appears at the court of King Diovinius asking for what amounts to a slave-trade franchise. From the information given about King Diovinius in previous chapters, would you say that Shira is unaccountably ignorant, unbelievably stupid, or simply insane?

    4. By appearing at King Diovinius’ court, Shira unwittingly makes himself a sitting duck for Iskald’s revenge. That is convenient for Iskald, but how might the subsequent roundup of thieves raise questions about King Diovinius’ leadership?

    5. In what two ways has Iskald already betrayed King Diovinius’ trust?

Responses welcome!

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