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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 333

The Ear Speaks

Dans le poète, l’oreille parle,
la bouche écoute...
In the poet, the ear speaks
and the mouth listens...
— Paul Valéry
  1. Write an article for The Critics’ Corner analyzing the music in John Stocks’ “Fete.” Pay special attention to rhythm, alliteration and assonance.

  2. In Ian Cordingley’s “Base Ten”:

    1. Why does the crew not settle on the planet where the sentient aliens have been discovered?
    2. How does Curtis manage to commandeer the gamma-ray shield even though the crew knows it’s the only one available and that it’s vital to protect the planet they now call “Home”?
    3. Is the shield concave relative to the gamma-ray source or is it really convex?
    4. Are gamma rays in the visible spectrum of light?
  3. In Keith Wallis’s “Clive’s Journey”:

    1. Is it a short story or a vignette, namely a dramatized newspaper article?
    2. Since the point of view is necessarily third-person, it is possible to begin with a scene where Clive gives his wife a parting kiss. Would such a scene increase the tension? How could it be depicted to avoid melodrama?
    3. Given such a scene, would the reader need Clive’s gloomy forebodings about his parting kiss to his wife? Do his thoughts do more than telegraph the ending the reader expects anyway?
  4. Ayesha Pervez’ “Sanjeeda” is obviously set somewhere in the Middle East. Does the exact location matter? Is the story also applicable in societies that do not permit polygamy?

  5. In Elaine Graham-Leigh’s “Why We Fight,” young Jorges says, ‘So when us get rid of ’em Chi’me, they Gargarin won’t attack we.’

    Stage dialect is very tricky: it must denote locale and social class, among other things, and the reader or spectator must understand it immediately. Jorges reverses the function of “us” and “we” while keeping the distinction between “they” and “them.” That seems unlikely; children, especially, regularize language. How might Jorges speak consistently and yet retain the flavor of his age and his village?

Responses welcome!

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