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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 358

The Goblin’s Gonna Getcha
If You Don’t Breathe Right

  1. Rebecca Lu Kiernan’s “Trigger”:

    1. The senses of touch and taste, among others, are “trademark” features of the poet’s style. What sensual elements dominate the poem?
    2. What emotional themes does the poem imply?
  2. Bonus challenge: set John Stocks’ “Breathe” to music and send us the mp3.

  3. How is the outcome of Michael R. Meyerhofer’s “A Merchant’s Luck” prepared in advance? Can this be considered a “well-made story” in the critical sense?

  4. Julie Wornan’s “A Butterfly’s Summer” begins and ends with the thematic image of intertwining roots. What does the image symbolize?

  5. In Chris Yodice’s “Benjamin’s Black Tides,” Benjamin seems to have an uncontrolled “wild talent.”

    1. Whom and what do Benjamin’s “tides” seem to affect? Do the objects of the death wish have anything in common?
    2. Why are children or childlike adults practically necessary as vehicles for “wild talents”?
    3. What similar works can you cite that have been published at Bewildering Stories or elsewhere? How do they differ from “Benjamin’s Black Tides”?
  6. In Aidan Lucid’s “Death Knocks Three Times”:

    1. Aside from failing to ‘read — or at least heed — the f[abulous] manual’ — to paraphrase a saying — about the operation of the Ouija board, do any of the victims have anything that might, at a stretch, be considered a tragic flaw?
    2. Tim does everything wrong, from unleashing the curse in the first place to telling Dr. Wilkins about it. And yet Tim is the only one to escape the curse. What help does he have? Does he deserve it?
  7. What does Jennifer Walmsley’s “Sir Simon’s Well” have in common with Chris Yodice’s “Benjamin’s Black Tides” and Aidan Lucid’s “Death Knocks Three Times”?

  8. The central character in Martin Green’s “Have Witch, Will Travel” is not John, it’s Veronica. How might the story be told from her point of view? What television series have or have had a similar premise?

Responses welcome!

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