Department header
Bewildering Stories

Challenge 498

Into Deep Bora Space

  1. In Oonah V. Joslin’s “The Story of Dainty Dish”:

    1. What children’s poems or nursery rhymes does the poem allude to? Does it summarize or ring changes on them in any way?
    2. How might this poem be read in English as a second language or by someone unfamiliar with British children’s literature?
  2. In Bertil Falk’s Infranet: the Growth of the Noosphere:

    1. Assuming that Pater Hieronymous’ summary of Teilhard de Chardin’s view of human mental and spiritual progress is accurate, why might the late Prof. Stephen Jay Gould’s objection that it is “unscientific” seem beside the point? What might futurologist Ray Kurzweil think of it all?

    2. If the Internet is an analogue of the noosphere, how might websites be analogous to quantum particles, such as the photon?

  3. In Emily Calvin’s “Starlings in a Distant Garden”:

    1. In what ways do the astronomy and cosmology resemble those in the stories of Deep Bora? What might justify the choice of a fantastical setting?
    2. The Caribbean area is mentioned at least five times in the story. What might be its symbolic significance?
    3. Is the story a comedy or tragedy? If a comedy, who is the deliverer, and what restoration takes place? If a tragedy, what is the narrator’s tragic flaw?
    4. Does the story overstep Bewildering Stories’ guideline that a first-person narrator must not die and leave no one alive to tell the tale? If it doesn’t, how is the obstacle circumvented?
  4. In Tessa Bennett’s “To a Sudden Halt”:

    1. One of Bewildering Stories’ unofficial mottoes is: “Any story based on current events is out of date before it’s written.” How does “To a Sudden Halt” manage to escape the restriction, and to what extent?

    2. The story of Gary and Emily is obviously analogous to that of North Korea and its imagined enemies. What is the analogue of Emily’s personality? Which of the two stories is science fiction? Which is steely-eyed realism?

  5. In Ron Van Sweringen’s “Eating Strawberries With One Hand,” the story ends:

    “What about Loretta Lee?” Gladys asked.
    “Who?” Malcolm smiled.

    What do you think Gladys will reply, if she’s smart?

Responses welcome!

Copyright © 2012 by Bewildering Stories
What is a Bewildering Stories Challenge?

Home Page