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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 558

Sit on the Beanbag

  1. In Julie Finch’s “Back to Hank”: Who is Hank? The reader also needs to know who Bukowski is. Why might the poem cite the name? Is the poem ekphrastic?

  2. In Melissa Davis’ “Snow Falls,” Henry’s wife Delilah has died. At the end, does he implicitly blame her for abandoning him?

  3. In Tyrean Martinson’s “Robot Sonnet”:

    1. What kinds of rhymes are used? What is the meter? Would the poem have a more regular structure in iambic pentameter?
    2. What literary allusions does the poem make? Is it necessary to know what they are in order to understand the poem?
    3. How might the robot’s dilemma be summarized in prose?
  4. In Martin Hill Ortiz’ “I Walked With a Vambie”:

    1. How might one argue that the story does not overstep Bewildering Stories’ “dead narrator” guideline?
    2. How might the story itself serve as a scenario for a film script?
  5. In Lawrence Weber’s “The Writing Chair,” the chair is important to a writer. Bewildering Stories has published at least two other poems about chairs. Can you find them? Are they similar in some way? What other “furniture” poems or stories do we have?

  6. In John W. Steele’s “The Phantom Lover”:

    1. How might Milton Harrington’s mental condition be characterized or diagnosed?
    2. The succubus is the only fantastical element in the story. How might the character of Milton Harrington be affected if the character of a real person were substituted for the mythical demon?
  7. In Adam C. Richardson’s “Happy Planet”:

    1. What is the motivation of John Darby and Gene Radcliffe in distributing Raptura?
    2. The story depicts two extremes: the bliss of Raptura and Daniel Blight’s obsessive-compulsive disorder. Does Blight finally achieve a middle ground somewhere between the two or will he revert to his previous condition?
    3. What makes the character of Ryan Gavin interesting? How might he have played a more important role in the story?

Responses welcome!

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