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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 468

Believe Half of What You See

  1. In David J. Rank’s “The Man Who Had Lived Here”:

    1. Why does Douglas Clery object to others’ shortening his first name?
    2. How does Clery feel about his landlady, his neighbors and his job?
    3. What does he really find in the attic? Why does he feel compelled to go there?
  2. In Caleb Wimble’s “Singularity”:

    1. What might the title mean?
    2. Dr. O’Neill transplants Jacob’s (the narrator’s) mind into a fresh replica of Jacob’s body. Why might that not be the best procedure? Why might it be the only practical one?
    3. The “transhumanist” procedure raises a socio-political controversy in the story:
      1. What seems to be the main objection to the procedure?
      2. Is the outbreak of violence plausible on the scale depicted?
      3. What detail in the story might justify reading the “transhumanist” vs. “humanist” conflict as an allegory for a conflict of another kind?
  3. In euhal allen’s The Bridge: a New Beginning, chapter 3:

    1. Katia tells her daughter Me’Avi about Johannes’ and Olga’s disappearance. Me’Avi has doubts about Katia’s apparent lack of emotion. Is Katia’s explanation entirely convincing? What does the incident reveal about the relationship between Katia and Me’Avi?

    2. Why might one doubt that Johannes and Olga have really been vaporized by a nova?

  4. In Channie Greenberg’s “On Not Weighing the Moral Turpitudes of Common Man”:

    1. What does the story satirize?
    2. What is the tone of the title and the ending: Comic? Ironic? Bitter?
  5. Sherman Smith’s “Poets Can’t Sing” is evidently a chapter in a larger work. What may have intervened since the chapter “Strong Suit” that would cast light on the events in “Poets Can’t Sing”?

  6. In Alexander Tozzi’s “The Gnome’s Ruby,” why is the gnome so attached to his good luck charm that he’s williing to risk life and limb to search for it?

Responses welcome!

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