Department header
Bewildering Stories

Challenge 434

Two Seasons: Morning and Afternoon

  1. In Mary B. McArdle’s Give Them Wine, Donas is very suspicious of her hosts:

    1. Did Donas have no one to trust in Katera’s community?

    2. Donas thinks her new hosts may be drugging the food and drink, as Katera did. Does she have any reason to think they might not be doing so?

    3. What differences between Katera’s community and the new one does Donas seem to overlook or fail to understand?

    4. Donas shares a common language with her new community and knows almost all the words. Is it implausible that Katera’s community has forgotten the words for the seasons? What seasons does the locality actually have, and how might a language native to the region denote them?

  2. In Christine J. M. Reilly’s “Sucker”:

    1. One interpretation holds that the poem is a cynical contradiction of the Sermon on the Mount, esp. Mt 5:40 and Lk 6:29. What evidence might be found for that reading?

    2. Another interpretation suggests that the poem may deal with the same topic as Mimi Rosen’s “Extraordinary Man.” What evidence might make that reading plausible?

    3. Yet another interpretation holds that the poem is about a malfunctioning clothes dryer. What evidence might be found for that reading?

    4. The shirt is obviously significant to the narrator. In what way? Since the shirt is a symbol, what is its referent? How does the poem compare with the examples cited in the article “Subtlety and Symbol”?

  3. In Thomas F. Wylie’s “Search Light”:

    1. How might the poem be read as a companion to John Stocks’ “My Sculpted Garden”?
    2. Assuming a common theme, in what way do the two poems differ?
  4. In Richard Ong’s “Pandemic”:

    1. Why does the alien virus create hallucinations in Jim Bowers only at night?
    2. Why doesn’t Bowers avoid the hallucinations by sleeping at night rather than in the daytime?
    3. If the virus is trying to protect the planet against colonists from Earth, why doesn’t it just kill them outright rather than bother to mess with their minds?
    4. Is the scenario a story or a vignette?

Responses welcome!

Copyright © 2011 by Bewildering Stories
What is a Bewildering Stories Challenge?

Home Page