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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 320

Trinc, Tranc, Trunc

  1. In Sally K. Lehman’s “Small Minutes”:

    1. How did Audinita feel about Eduardo? How did she relate to him?
    2. How does she feel about Andy? Why might the reader reasonably conclude that he did not rape Alison or murder Eduardo?
    3. Is Audinita really a ghost observing her fate? Or is she alive and despairing that anyone will relate to her as a real person?
  2. In Robert N. Stephenson’s “The Takers”:

    1. What does it mean, at the end, that Helen sees two children rather than one?
    2. What do the Takers do that shows them to be short-sighted and even stupid in terms of resource management?

  3. Why does Robert Owen’s “A Love Story in Five Minutes” not need any more of an ending than it has?

  4. In Brian George’s “My Son Skates By,” what is the function of the skateboard in the story? How old is the narrator’s son likely to be? Why is he more “radical” than the conventional protest demonstrators?

  5. In Will Endres Jr.’s “Hell Camino”:

    1. Why is Giovanni a more interesting character than Derek?
    2. Does the story conclude, stop, or promise sequels? If the latter, how will Derek differ from Beverly Forehand’s “Chuck the Demon”?
  6. In Dwight Krauss’s “The Absence of Land”:

    1. How does the use of sentence fragments fit the setting and action of the story? What would happen if they were made complete sentences?
    2. What does Eddie mean by “Don’t you know you put a food crop — corn is best — between the breads?”
  7. At the end of Tala Bar’s “The Planet,” in Lunari, Lilit says that the ship’s computer “has been built by humans and has stored in its innards all human experience possible.”

    1. In view of the computer’s erratic behavior so far, is it wise for Lilit to put her entire and unswerving faith in the machine even as an emergency measure?
    2. In view of “all human experience,” is it wise for anyone to trust the computer at all?
    3. Lilit’s statement is not just wild exaggeration, it’s sheer impossibility. Does Lilit seem to be suffering a mental breakdown?
  8. In John Viecorek’s “The Bells of St. Michaels”:

    1. Norman slips a powerful hallucinogenic into the communion wine, apparently without a qualm. From Norman’s viewpoint, that’s not only sabotage but blasphemy. What does he hope to achieve? Does his state of mind justify his act?

    2. Norman is an observant Catholic; the Church officially condemns suicide as the equivalent of murder and therefore a mortal sin. Again, does Norman’s state of mind justify his act?

    3. Go to Challenge 320 Response: “Norman’s Choice

Responses welcome!

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