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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 431

Keep Your Shirt On

  1. In Ásgrímur Hartmannsson’s Error, do Frank, Rick and Eddy have any personal or “professional” interest in sabotaging the Bureau of Personal Information Protection?

  2. In Trevor Price’s “The Hair Shirt,” what is the function of the shirt? Does it age while its owner remains youthful-looking? Might it be “The Shirt of Dorian Gray”?

  3. In K. R. Hager’s “They Called Into Darkness,” which of the following is not satirized:

  4. In Karen S. Riggin’s “My Darling, Darling Margo”:

    1. The nine guests are said to be “guilty.” Would it help to know what they might be guilty of?
    2. Argue the case both for and against the story’s being a vignette.
    3. Does the story overstep Bewildering Stories’ guideline against sentimentality?
  5. In Robert H. Prestridge’s “Cat’s Nines”:

    1. At what point can the reader reasonably surmise that Dunninger is the vector for Arnie?
    2. Is Arnie a virus, an artificial intelligence, or the cybernetic extension of a real person?
    3. Since Arnie can hide in any implant, why does he not self-replicate and hide in many at once, possibly in mutated forms?
  6. In Channie Greenberg’s “Your Knees Remain Extant”:

    1. What is the poem about?
    2. The vocabulary is sometimes esoteric. What might its function be? How might the poem read if it were translated into “plain English”?
    3. Where might the poem fit in our articles on audience and on subtlety?
  7. In Don Webb’s “The Shape of Light Squared”:

    1. It is well known that some flashlights are square, e.g. electrial lanterns used for such things as camping. However, those lights, like smaller flashlights — or pocket “torches” in some countries — are shaped to fit their batteries. What shape beam would be cast if the lens and bulb were square? Is it possible to project a square beam of light without the use of filters?

    2. In what way does the poem depend upon an ambiguity in the abstract?

Responses welcome!

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