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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 539

The Hound Goes Around

  1. In Sandy Hiortdahl’s “Hounded Grey Stop”:

    1. There are several characters but only one has a name. Why might that be? What would be the effect if he didn’t have a name or if the husband and wife did, as well?
    2. What reasons does the wife have for taking the bus to anywhere?
    3. Reverse the husband-wife roles: would a husband do the same thing under similar circumstances, i.e. take the dog and the bus?
    4. The narration says that the woman’s husband is “evil.” Do you agree? Why might one question the wife’s judgment?
    5. Does “Hounded Grey Stop” fit the category of the “revenge fantasy” or does it describe a fugue?
      1. What examples can you find in Bewildering Stories that seem to illustrate a basic difference between male and female revenge fantasies?
      2. What problems do they describe and what resolutions do they offer?
      3. If a fugue is an escape symptomatic of unresolved problems, does an account of a fugue constitute a vignette rather than a story?
  2. In Ariele Sieling’s “The Poison Apple”:

    1. Why does Snow wake up at the beginning? At the end, why does the Queen wake up? Does it matter?
    2. What is the basis of the comedy in this “twisted fairy tale”? What other strategies do stories in Contest 1 employ to retell familiar tales?
  3. In Nathan Elberg’s “Sticks, Stones and Monsters”:

    1. Why might Chief Taiku not be entirely sympathetic to the priest’s widow?
    2. How does the chief show himself to be an expert politician? How does he achieve his objective by walking on both sides of the street at once, so to speak?
    3. Do Anahita and Tamsyn believe, deny, doubt or suspect they are witches?

Responses welcome!

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