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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 318

Wot Say?

  1. Is Catfish Russ’s “The Favor” merely a sweet story about a clothes dryer that befriends a lost space-alien device? What overarching cultural and historical irony does the story imply?

  2. How does Adam Kane earn his redemption in Richard K. Lyon’s “Strangers on the Night Train”? In what way is his name appropriate?

  3. In Rob Crandall’s “All Things Are Possible”:

    1. One wartime horror has defined the dying man’s life. Does he deserve forgiveness? Can anyone other than his victims forgive him?
    2. How might the story obliquely illustrate Matthew 8:21-22? What does the story imply about historical grudges?
    3. Is it necessary to subscribe to a literalistic form of transcendence in order to accept the ending of the story?
  4. In Bertil Falk’s “The Apostolic Destruction”:

    1. What is the role of coffee in the story?
    2. The occult practices the story alludes to may seem a little far-fetched, but are they really, when stripped of mummery? How does the story illustrate in a graphic way the conclusion of C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters?
  5. Lewayne L. White’s “Worlds Apart” plays a joke on the reader’s expectations of what literary genres?

  6. In Oonah V Joslin’s “Magical Thinking”:

    1. Is the work a short story, prose poem, or an essay outline?
    2. Do you agree with the characterization of the modes of thought? Are they equivalent?
    3. What story — similar or different — would you write based on the premise “Anything you do implies a leap of faith”?
  7. What does Mark Bonica’s “My Piano” imply about the quality of the universe?

  8. In Brian C. Baer’s “The Robot Whisperer”:

    1. Why does the technician insist that he is “not a doctor”?
    2. Does the family’s physical appearance explain their love for Henry?
  9. In Diana Pollin’s “The Other Side of 59th Street,” what is Jeane Stalton’s tragic flaw?

  10. What stories or poems in this issue — or this quarter, for that matter — might cause our editors to look like Carmen Ruggero’s “Say Wot?!”?

Responses welcome!

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