Department header
Bewildering Stories

Bewildering Stories welcomes...

Bob Welbaum

After a 20-year career in the U.S. Air Force, Bob has worked for 15 years at Tomart Publications, in Moraine, Ohio as a book and magazine editor. He also works as a substitute teacher. He has published poetry and a children’s book.

A Fateful Evening” depicts the “quantum” contingency of reality. We can predict with varying degrees of confidence what will probably happen on a large scale, but we can’t predict with any certainty what will happen at the level of isolated events. And that is the role of Fate as a character in the story: it’s a one-voice Greek chorus whose role is to make sure we get the point.

“A Fateful Evening” contains several separate stories: Ruth’s, Helen’s, Stu’s, and the lost child’s. And they are — mercifully — kept separate rather than told all at the same time, in hypermodern style. The characters’ individual stories have nothing to do with each other, but they do come into contact.

And that raises questions, for example: What if Helen had met Ruth at the railway station? What if Ruth had accepted the offer of a ride in the clandestine “taxi”? What if Stu had not found the lost child? What if Helen had not kept her distance from Stu? As always, events only appear to be arbitrary; they’re always connected in some way, either as cause or effect.

Is the outcome “fate”? Not really. It would be only if Ruth, Helen, Stu and others are not free; that is, they had no decisions to make.

Bob Welbaum’s bio sketch can be found here.

Welcome to Bewildering Stories, Bob. We hope to hear from you again soon and often!

Copyright © 2014 by Bewildering Stories

Home Page