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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 520

Row, Steer, Sail Your Boat

  1. In Mike Florian’s “The Oarsmen of Crete”:

    1. In what way are Harel and Harry similar in their daily lives?
    2. What constellation serves as a guide to Harel and Harry? What is the nebula that they see?
    3. Harel’s venture into the open sea apparently ends in failure. And yet his voyage yields two very practical benefits: what are they?
    4. Neither Harel nor Harry is recorded as saying anything. Do they need to?
    5. “Oarsmen” steps somewhat outside the conventional format of a short story. How does the author maintain the tone of a lyrical essay?
  2. In Martin Kerharo’s The Dohani War, chapter 15:

    1. Are the Dohani implants surgically installed or have they become natural?
    2. Dexter is slow on the uptake in understanding Jane’s explanation of her age. But he is not normally dim-witted. What narrative purpose is served by his slow comprehension and Jane’s exasperation at it?
    3. Since humans do not form a “hive society,” the Dohani solutions to the “human problem” are currently reduced to military domination or genocide. What narrative purpose is served by Dexter’s not trying to imagine other solutions?
  3. In Well Teague’s “A Reasonable Life,” does the narrator do the “reasonable” thing at the end? How does he feel about it?

  4. In Simon Jones’ “The Stoning of Tityos”:

    1. Why does the monster have a name?
    2. Why does the Sheriff not want to take revenge on Tityos?
    3. The story clearly oversteps Bewildering Stories’ guideline against plots that end with the narrator’s death, which leaves no one alive to tell the tale. How might that logical inconsistency be circumvented?

Responses welcome!

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