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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 516

Body and Soul

  1. In Philip Murray-Lawson’s “The Extinction Game” how many of objects of satire can you identify? The winner gets official recognition.

  2. In David Barber’s “Ruben de la Vialle, 1660”:

    1. Who was Ruben de la Vialle?
    2. Take the guide’s point of view. In light of Ruben de la Vialle’s interpretation of his experience, did the guide have a point in being superstitious about the cave?
    3. “Kilroy Was Here” is a tradition as old as time. In what way does the poem explain the visits of both Ruben de la Vialle and the prehistoric artist?
  3. In Carly Berg’s “Bitten”:

    1. Need the story be read as Lisa’s and Victor’s being literally transformed into some kind of insect? Why might they be considered figuratively as insects?
    2. Might readers suspect that the characters represent real people and that the story is a conte à clef?
  4. In Ron J. Cruz’s “Ferris Wheel”:

    1. Where might one surmise that the “new” Steven Ferris comes from?
    2. The “old” Steven Ferris says, “I can’t replace me.” Why might he be right to say that rather than “I can’t replace myself”?
    3. The chronically ill are right to say, “I am not my disease.” Is the converse also true?
    4. Where does Dr. Wen carry his hypodermic needle? Why might it call into question his qualifications or even his competence?
    5. Dr. Wen’s medical procedure is, in effect, “copy-paste.” What other procedure might have forestalled Steven Ferris’ objection?
  5. In Martin Kerharo’s The Dohani War:

    1. In chapter 10, does anything in chapter 9 foreshadow Colonel Redgger’s show of force?
    2. In chapter 11, why might one surmise that the Dohani use numbers at base 10? Why does Jane use a scale of 1,024, i.e. “Dohani = +512, human = −512”?
    3. The Dohani words are represented by conventional “human” symbols. Are the symbols random or do they appear to contain patterns?
    4. Are the Dohani words composed of a series of “letters,” as in alphabetic scripts, or are the words a single symbol in Dohani, as in ideographic scripts?
    5. How might Dexter better explain — using only the vocabulary available to him and Jane — who the pirates were?
    6. Jane obviously thinks that pirates are human; but since meeting Dexter, has she ever really thought that all humans are pirates? With the vocabulary available, can she explain what she really thinks?
    7. Jane tells Dexter that her Dohani name is the equivalent of “little white kitten.” Is Dexter better off for not having the idea to show her that humans think of her as a tiger?

Responses welcome!

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