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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 317

Rock Bottom Low and Digging

  1. In Dwight Krauss’s “Face to Face”:

    1. Do the stages of Lane’s quest go through any kind of progression?
    2. Lane’s motivation is given though not exactly emphasized. Is it sufficient or does Lane suffer from a kind of genetic determinism?
    3. Is the story a cautionary tale or a satire?
  2. In Richard K. Lyon’s “Pigs at the Fraternity Party”:

    1. Would Joel Bedford be able to make his case to his fraternity brothers without Sir John present?
    2. Does Sir John intervene in the argument at any point? Is he a true deus ex machina, a kind of alter ego of Joel’s, or some other kind of character?
    3. Is Joel justified in rationalizing his careeer ambitions as he does, or is his argument specious and self-serving?
  3. In Bertil Falk’s “The Space of Eternity”:

    1. Why does the winged girl seek refuge in the Space of Eternity rather than somewhere else? Why does she not take the name as a warning?
    2. Are any of the girl’s questions answered?
    3. Is the story an allegory? If so, of what?
  4. What is the moral of Michael A. Kechula’s “Blueberry Pie”? Is it purely a satire of the veneration of religious relics? Or does it say something about technology and credulity in today’s world?

  5. How do the characters in Kaolin Fire’s “Keep to the Fringe” differ from those in J(ae)D Brames’ “Exposing Magic”? What are the philosophical implications about free will and determinism?

  6. What does J(ae)D Brames’ “Exposing Magic” satirize? What does it say about fictional characters that might contradict Kaolin Fire’s “Keep to the Fringe”?

  7. Is Ivan Latinkic’s “Gazing at the Edge of the Ocean” flash fiction or a prose poem or both? Is the association of the mother with the ocean “pathetic fallacy” or a personification? Is the ending an exercise in sentimentality? Why or why not?

  8. Is Lloyd Poast’s “Blink” a story, or is it a long vignette that lists a collection of story ideas and elements?

  9. In Anna Ruiz’ “Return of the Beloved,” does the frequent use of suspension points serve any evident purpose? What is the effect liable to be when punctuation calls attention to itself?

Responses welcome!

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