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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 524

Sliding at High G

  1. In Ian Cordingley’s “Standing Athwart History”:

    1. What is Shenzhen Blue, and what does it do?
    2. What is Carol’s plan, and why does she need Shenzhen Blue?
    3. What does Carol mean by her thought, “Well, Sis, I did it”?
    4. How does the title apply to the story?
  2. In Bo Balder’s “The Hump”:

    1. Who is at the center of the story: the narrator or her husband?
    2. What would you expect the narrator to do when she first realizes she has a hump growing on her back?
  3. In Martin Kerharo’s The Dohani War, chapter 18, “Understanding”:

    1. When Dexter tells stories to the Dohani children he inadvertently gives them and their parents the key to understanding human society. Why is it significant that Dexter’s crucial information is imparted in the form of a children’s story?

    2. Dexter already gave Jane the gist of the story in chapter 11. Why can Jane understand now what she could not understand on Aubria-3?

    3. In what way does the point of view shift to accommodate the action aboard station S-801? Is the change in point of view necessary? Does such a change occur anywhere else in the novel?

    4. In what ways does Jane take charge of the action? Does she reduce Dexter’s role to that of a puppet or does he have important things to do, as well? How do Jane and Dexter differ in their respective styles of action?

    5. When Eliza meets Dexter and Jane aboard the Dohani ship, the three of them exchange greetings and then Jane goes over to Dexter and puts her head of his shoulder. Why does Jane do that? What is Eliza’s role in the story?

    6. Dexter and Jane react very differently to her pregnancy. What justifies Jane’s behavior? What does Dexter’s reaction show that Jane still has to learn about humans?

  4. In Richard A. Hebert’s “And the Darkness Drank Them In,” to what extent can the story be said to be a story about a story or about a series of stories?

  5. In Ron Van Sweringen’s “Just Another Florida Day”:

    1. How does the title apply to the story?
    2. Faced with such a bad prognosis, why did Martin not ask for a second opinion or the doctor not request a consult?
    3. How likely is it that an official cover-up would allow Dr. Polanski to continue practicing medicine while being severely incapacitated?
    4. Does Martin’s attraction to Mrs. Polanski constitute irony or does it make the story a “revenge fantasy”?

Responses welcome!

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