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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 571

The Price of a Four-Block Fare

  1. In Sherman Smith’s “A Foolish Heart”:

    1. What is the function of the two New Year’s eve celebrations?
    2. What character flaw of Stella’s is revealed at her dinner with Marcus?
    3. Why does Stella not hand Brooks her present of silk masks and ask him where Earl might be?
  2. In Ian Cordingley’s “Pushing the Sky Away”:

    1. What is the significance of the title?
    2. What does Diana do, if anything, to deserve Blair’s distrust?
    3. What is the economic, political and socio-cultural setting of the story?
  3. In Bob Welbaum’s “A Fateful Evening”:

    1. Is the pseudo-narrator “Fate” necessary? How would the story be affected if it were omitted?
    2. What is the function of the “lost child” subplot?
    3. What might have happened if Ruth had accepted a ride in the clandestine “taxi”?
  4. In Gary Clifton’s “Murder at Dead Woman Pass”:

    1. How could a large space communications installation be built so near the town without anyone’s noticing it?
    2. Aside from Petrovic himself, is any character in the story not a possible suspect either as the murderer or as a spy?
    3. How might the story be written without the stock Middle Easterner from Central Casting?
  5. In John Grey’s “Test Tube Babies,” does it seem to matter whether the characters originated in a test tube or were born naturally?

  6. In Jeremy Szal’s “A Hunter’s Wrath”: To readers of what age might the story appeal?

Responses welcome!

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