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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 389

Fate Rolls Loaded Dice

  1. Diana Pollin’s “Good Writing” could easily be made into a play for the stage television, or even radio. What actors would you cast in the various roles?

  2. In Peter Charles’ “The Argument”:

    1. The husband has apparently died and become a ghost. Does his condition necesssarily prove that his wife was right to believe he had been tempting Fate?
    2. The husband shouts that Fate doesn’t exist and challenges its existence. Why is that argument bound to fail?
    3. What logical counter-arguments could the husband use at least to raise doubts in his wife’s mind about her superstition?
  3. In Chris Castle’s “The Four Masks”:

    1. Why might the reader conclude that the four boys enter all but the fourth house illegally?
    2. What is the function of the deceased sister in the story?
    3. What purpose do the masks seem to serve? Why might the devil mask seem appropriate?
  4. In Matthew Wanniski’s “The Metaphysician’s Mirror”:

    1. Can the boy be sure that Coddling will walk into the trap set for him, namely his father’s “haunted” mirror?
    2. What is the irony in the boy’s setting the trap and destroying all but the haunted mirror?
  5. In John Stocks’ “Only Child,” why is the son absent? Would a reason add anything to the poem?

  6. In Anna Ruiz’ “Magritte in the Morning,” the imagery reflects that of René Magritte’s surrealist paintings. Would a knowledge of the artist’s work help to understand the poem?

  7. Why do you think Bewildering Stories classifies Michael D. Brooks’ “One is the Loneliest Number” as an essay rather than a memoir?

  8. In J. B. Hogan’s “Outside the Biograph Theatre,” how much would a knowledge of the historical Dillinger assassination help to understand the counterfactual events? Is the story technically a vignette?

  9. Bonus question: The Novellas, Serial, Short Stories, Short Poem, Essay, and Excerpt all deal with children or childhood in one way or another. What do these works have in common? In what ways do their views differ?

Responses welcome!

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