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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 399

Hi’ly Abbrev’d

  1. In Kai Laursen’s “Search for Dominant Gene”:

    1. The title is abbreviated in the style of a newspaper headline. Is “search” a noun or a verb?
    2. Does the poem suggest a story? What would the story be in plain prose?
    3. The poem mainly lists incidents of discordance, i.e. events that call for an explanation. Does the last line — “envy of coyote tooth charm” — give any clue to a common thread? For example, might “coyote” refer literally to an animal or figuratively to human smuggling across the U.S. border with Mexico? Does the line have any evident link to the rest of the poem?
  2. In Faith Van Horne’s “Betrayal at Onyx Island”:

    1. How does Greg get shrunk? Does he shoot himself with the ray gun?
    2. What does the shrinking have to do with the rest of the plot?
    3. How do the male characters in the story compare to the female characters?
  3. How does Carmen Ruggero’s La cigarra y la hormiga differ in emphasis from the fable of La Fontaine?

  4. In Michael E. Howard’s “Skinned Cats,” how might the story refer to the saying “There’s more than one way to skin a cat”?

  5. In Catfish Russ’s “The Man Made of Tin and Copper”:

    1. Why does the stranded spaceman not make his own star charts by observation?
    2. Does meeting the spaceman change Arky’s life in any substantial way?
  6. Channie Greenberg’s “Casters of Pornographic Derision” appears to be a political editorial in verse. How might its ideas be expressed in plain prose?

  7. How does Lori Hines’ “Citrus Surprise” employ senses other than sight? To what effect? How might the exposition be handled differently? Is the account a story or a vignette?

  8. The discussion “Validation,” with Gary Inbinder and Don Webb, playfully suggests that the Quarterly Reviews could be made the object of a virtual stock market or on-line gambling ring. How would you organize it, and how would you keep it honest?

Responses welcome!

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