Dupe the Dupe?
In Richard Ong’s “Voice of a Princess”:
- What scene-setting is needed in order to understand what the narrator, Bryan, does at the beginning of the story?
- Why does Bryan tell Elizabeth the story of the princess in the tower? Does he have a reason to do so, or is he just guessing?
- An “explosion” might have disfigured Elizabeth as well as blinding her. Does that matter or not?
- Does the story overstep Bewildering Stories’ guideline about sentimentality, i.e. unearned emotion?
In Raud Kennedy’s “Silver Elvis”:
- Jonathan sees a “silver Elvis” in a dream. Do dream sequences qualify as fantasy or as reality? What might the “silver Elvis” and the small monkey signify?
- Do Jonathan’s and Heather’s dreams have anything in common?
- What would it take for Jonathan and Heather to get together?
In Ian Cordingley’s “Executives of Neon Death”:
- What might explain the title?
- Do the interstellar colonists have a point? In what way might they be mistaken?
- The voice from the future foretells a civil war lasting four centuries. What are its causes? How might it be forestalled?
- Who is the author of the epigraph? Does it matter? How does the epigraph apply to the story?
In Jack Alcott’s “The Dupes”:
- The title is ambiguous. Why might the duplicates be “dupes” in the colloquial sense of the term?
- What other premise might the story use than duplicating people, dogs, houses, cars, etc. to set up the scene of chaos in the newspaper office?
- The real center of the story is the demise of print publishing. Before the advent of the Macintosh computer, in 1985, such stories might have qualified as science fiction; now they’re realism. What other stories — either science fictional or realistic — can you cite, regardless of source, about this phase of cultural evolution?
Copyright © 2012 by Bewildering Stories
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