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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 334

Unsolved Puzzles

  1. In Richard K. Lyon’s “Six Black Doors,” two puzzles remain to be solved:

    1. Is Breen justified in defying Pyre’s admonition to wait rather than rescue the princess? In view of the conclusion to Book I, why might the reader suspect that Pyre is being more prudent than callous about the fate of the princess?
    2. How does Breen decide which of the six doors to choose as an escape route?

    The novel ends in Chapter VI, episode 8. How would you resolve the tensions in the story?

  2. Germán Amatto’s “To Share a Destiny” is ostensibly a one-act play consisting of an introductory exposition followed by eight scenes.

    1. What adaptations would be needed to make the story a script for a radio play or a stage play?
    2. In a stage play, another coat could easily be substituted to fit “She.” How would the new coat be described in a radio play?
    3. The only character in the story that has a name is Juanma, and he remains offstage. Is there any advantage to leaving the male and female characters anonymous?
    4. Would the story be written more economically in conventional narrative and dialogue?
  3. At the end of Patrick Iversen’s “Stone Cold Deception”:

    1. What happens to Ingri? The reader can surmise only that she has been replaced by Loki. Is Ingri then dead and gone? Why do Arvid and Tomas suddenly seem not to care what has happened to her?
    2. Was Loki disguised as the doctor? Or did Loki appear at the house while Arvid and Tomas were out searching for a troll? In either case, what became of the doctor?
    3. Why did Loki not simply ignore Ingri and steal Arvid’s handiwork himself rather than undertake an elaborate impersonation?
    4. Who is the “large man” with the war hammer?
    5. What does Arvid seem to expect the large man to do? Why?
  4. In Brenton Harper-Murray’s “Unstuck,” what do Leo’s “hallucinations” seem to do?

  5. In Elaine Graham-Leigh’s “Why We Fight,”:

    1. Does the people’s revolt against the Chi’me succeed or fail? What effect does it seem to have?
    2. Why is Syet attracted to Vinal?

Responses welcome!

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