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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 339

Over the Cliff

  1. In Gabriel Timar’s “A Visit to the Cellar,” why might one suspect that at least one of the “workmen” was more than he appeared to be?

  2. Julie Eberhart Painter’s “Caribbean Paradise” is really quite funny told from the husband’s point of view. What would the story be like if it were told from the wife’s point of view?

  3. At the end of Tom Underhill’s “Low Limb High,” Caroline runs upstairs for “one last embrace.” Whom is she going to embrace?

  4. In Dorothy Crossan’s “Still Life”:

    1. The narrator’s sister Kate had been forced to pose in a bizarre photograph where she appears to be standing up but it actually lying on a gravel path. Why does the narrator say “The memory brought an unaccustomed feeling of warmth”?
    2. In view of the three siblings’ experience with their father’s mania for photography, what might be the emotion in Andrew’s observation “Now that would have made a great photograph”?
    3. Why might Andrew suggest that the three siblings walk to the hotel rather than return by limousine?
  5. Richard Elliot Dorfman’s “Happy Birthday, Arnold” probably represents the quintessential use of time travel as wish-fulfillment.

    1. Is the character of the time-traveling sociologist Justin really necessary?
    2. What explains Arnold’s apparent equanimity in reliving the past?
    3. Does the story parody the premise of the subgenre of time travel?
    4. How old is Crumpet at the various times in the story?
    5. Arnold’s happy ending depends first on Crumpet’s accidental escapade and, second, on Rebecca’s being interested and available. In what way is the story a mirror image of “The Inadvertent Intervention of the Floon,” in issue 67 ?
  6. Crystalwizard’s “The Driver”:

    1. Is the literal account of incautious automobile operation entirely plausible? Why or why not?
    2. Does anything indicate that the story may be an allegory? If so, what does the allegory refer to?
    3. Bewildering Stories could not have accepted the story if it had been written in the first person. Why not?

Responses welcome!

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