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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 390

Rap Around the Clock

  1. In Bill Bowler’s “Charlenes 2 and 3”:

    1. How is the reader’s attitude affected by the story’s taking the point of view of Charlene 2? How is Charlene 2 made a likable character?
    2. How might the story be told from the point of view of Charlene 3?
    3. What is Professor Stone’s motivation in creating the Charlenes? What moral is implied by the failure of his experiment?
  2. How might Carmen Ruggero’s “Trigal” be illustrated by artwork?

    Flash fiction usually consists of revenge fantasies, jokes, and comic sketches. How does “Trigal” expand the genre?

  3. In Bryce R. Piper’s excerpt from “Orlando’s Vigil,” Orlando inadvertently learns a hard lesson about the taboo prohibiting a man’s speaking to an Afghan woman to whom he is not related. What is the custom in Western societies? Does the Afghan custom differ in kind or in degree?

  4. In Henry F. Tonn’s “Dating Over Forty,” the women seem to have something in common in the way they treat the author. In what way or ways are they alike? Why might readers think, “These characters must be real...”?

    Bonus Challenge: The memoir is a gold mine of truly Bewildering ideas. Use it as a starting point and send us some stories.

  5. Sean Monaghan’s “Jacob’s Naked Aquarium” is at least partly fantasy, because it uses magic. Why is magic necessary to the plot?

  6. In S. Kilroy’s “Symbiotic Puppets”:

    1. In light of of Sarah’s view of evolutionary time, one might expect a discovery more earth-shaking than hallucinogenic bacteria. What more might one expect?
    2. Bonus Challenge: The story contains many elements of actual or potential humor. How might it be written as a classic comedy or farce?
  7. In Mike Nichols’ “Monsters”:

    1. Who is the story about: the creature, the villagers, or the nobleman?
    2. The plural in the title suggests that the people are “monsters.” Are they?
    3. What large predator does the creature resemble in real life?
    4. Is “Monsters” a story or an elaborate vignette, namely a chapter in a larger story?
  8. In what ways might Anna Ruiz’ “In the Lexicon Lab” be read as humor?

  9. What techniques of humor are common to Bertil Falk’s “The Mystery of the Universal Trifle” and Channie Greeberg’s “Shuffling Through Onion Grass”?

  10. In Channie Greenberg’s “Shuffling Through Onion Grass”:

    1. Who is Justine, and what species does she belong to?
    2. What is Justine’s relationship to Kathleen?

Responses welcome!

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