Department header
Bewildering Stories

Challenge 441

All Dressed Up

  1. Lesley Mace’s “Toys in the Attic” can be read as an allegory. What would the toys represent?

  2. At the end of Madeline Bridgen’s “Strange Genesis,” where is Doctor Manning: is he a glob of goo or has he gone somewhere else? What does the title really refer to? Do you agree or disagree with the interpretation in the welcome message?

  3. Michael D. Brooks’ “McGinnis” is a kind of mood piece parodying detective novels of the mid-20th century. Is the story complete? Is it the beginning of a larger story? How might that larger story unfold?

  4. In Larry Strattner’s “Interior Designs”:

    1. How do we know Leona is going to get away with her complicity in the murder of her husband?

    2. The “revenge fantasy” is a well-worn subgenre. What does “Interior Designs” add to it?

  5. In Rachel V. Olivier’s “Family Coat”:

    1. How do we know at the outset that the restaurant waiter Aidan is a friend of Tam’s or at least a very familiar acquaintance?

    2. Why might “Family Coat” seem to be the ending of a larger story including Tam’s childhood rather than a complete story in itself?

  6. In Graham Debenham’s “A Matter of Time”:

    1. The only anachronisms are Eddie’s wristwatch and shoes, which no one notices. Does the narrative device of time travel really add anything to the story?

    2. How does J. B. Hogan use time travel in “The Benefit of the Doubt”?

    3. Is “A Matter of Time” a complete story of the beginning of a larger story?

  7. In Mark Kertzman’s “The Mississippi Company”:

    1. The plot starts with intrigue but ends with a long chase scene on a space station. Could any part of the chase scene be omitted with a net gain to the pacing?

    2. Is the setting in outer space necessary? Could the action not have taken place just as easily on Earth?

    3. How does the conclusion of “The Mississippi Company” differ from that of Sean Monaghan’s “Pan Am 617 Heavy”?

  8. In Mary B. McArdle’s Give Them Wine:

    1. In chapter 14, Lionel and his father Sebastian ogle Donas while she’s bathing. In light of the betrothal ceremony in chapter 15, might Sebastian’s reaction foreshadow a plot twist or is it out of character?

    2. The “south people” are depicted as living in a semi-feudal society similar to that of the antebellum South. As far as the nobility are concerned, any change would be for the worse. How many potential plot developments have been suggested so far? Disregarding the synopsis, how do you think the story could play out?

Responses welcome!

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

Home Page