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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 470

Want Truck With That?

page index
Colin W. Campbell, Trade Secret
Graham Debenham, Invisible Government
Channie Greenberg, The Color of August Pumpkins
Susan A. Hagedorn, Immortality
Gary Inbinder, Intrusion
Oonah V. Joslin, Underwired
Varya Kartishai, Celestial Gossip
Jordan E. Mierek, Truck of Jim
Byron Petrakis, Dead Heat
  1. In Gary Inbinder’s “Intrusion”:

    1. Does Max Niemand have a tragic flaw? If so, what is it?
    2. Is the story a tragedy, a comedy, or a tragi-comedy?
    3. What is the “intrusion”?
  2. In Channie Greenberg’s “The Color of August Pumpkins”:

    1. When do pumpkins ripen?
    2. The Author’s Challenge asks, in effect, what happens when a writer and editor are not the same person. What does the question imply about the nature of rewriting? About an editor’s perspective on his or her own writing?

    3. Does the essay suggest anything about the relationship between author, work and audience?

  3. In Varya Kartishai’s “Celestial Gossip,” the poem “Whither Hades” might may seem to bemoan astronomers’ demoting Pluto from its former status as a planet. That may be the case incidentally; what is the poem really about?

  4. In Susan A. Hagedorn’s “Immortality”:

    1. Does time exist for an immortal being, such as a Prime Mover deity?
    2. Can an immortal being sneeze?
    3. What is the fatal flaw in immortality?
    4. Do space and time become identical at the heart of a singularity?
  5. In Byron Petrakis’ “Dead Heat”:

    According to the official medical report, the cause of death was sudden cardiac arrest.

    Of course, “official” has an undertone of irony; what else can the report be, and what other cause can it state? However, readers know the real reason that Meilanion expires unexpectedly. How might he be given a tragic flaw that would cause him to disregard Artemis’ warning?

  6. In Graham Debenham’s “Invisible Government”:

    1. What decision does Theodore Roosevelt ultimately make? Is it in character with the historical person?
    2. What presumption does the “TR” character in the story make that is entirely out of character with the historical personality?
    3. Is the visitor
  7. In Colin W. Campbell’s “Trade Secret”:

    1. Why has the Seeker’s visit to the southern badlands been such a dangerous journey?
    2. Why might the First Lord’s decision to annex oil resources be even more practical than it is far-sighted?
  8. In Jordan E. Mierek’s “Truck of Jim”:

    1. Why has the narrator broken up with Rich?
    2. How might the story have developed if the narrator had a name?
  9. In Oonah V. Joslin’s “Underwired,” how might the impolite blogger or e-mailer responded if asked what psychological issues prompted him to engage in public ogling?

Responses welcome!

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