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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 603

Sequence of Events

  1. In Jack Phillips Lowe’s “Where This Was Going”: What story would you write based on the premise outlined in the poem?

  2. In Stephen Ellams’ “At St. James Church”: Nothing prevents a poem from being a memoir. At what point does any work of poetry or prose become a memoir?

  3. In Keith Frady’s “The Dragon Said to the Knight”:

    1. One of the knights points out that a story may not have a surprising ending but that it can be worthwhile nonetheless. What is the “surprise”?
    2. How does this story end? Does it contain a surprise or surprises? What hackneyed clichés does it overturn?
    3. Would the story easier to understand if it were formatted as a play script?
    4. Does the story require that the reader be familiar with the “twisted fairy tales” subgenre?
  4. In Saor Hawk’s “The Program”:

    1. What is the narrator’s attitude toward his mother?
    2. Does the mother acknowledge the narrator as her son? Does she even seem to notice him?
    3. Why might the narrator justifiably resent “the Program”?
    4. How far back in time might the narrator have to search in order to find the kind of memories he says he is looking for?
    5. Who is at fault for the emotional estrangement depicted in the story: the son, the mother or both?
  5. In Judith A. Boss’s “Slice of Life”:

    1. Who is the little boy, and what happens to him? Would anything else in the story change if the character were omitted?
    2. Who is Ben?
    3. Is the “heavy-set man” the one who is shot in the alley?
    4. Who are the three men “in dark suits”? Why does Stanley perceive them as projecting “sinister plans”?
    5. Does Stanley’s perception of the murder in the alley come before, during or after his operation?
    6. Is the order of events in the story the same as the chronology of the narrative? Does Stanley get a heart transplant from the man who has been shot or from someone else?
  6. In Douglas Young’s “An American Visits China”:

    1. “Waitresses would offer me a fork.” — Why might it come as no surprise that the waitress would offer the author a fork?

    2. The essay touches on a number of very serious problems in the society of 21st-century China. What are they? What other problems seem to have been resolved, at least to a certain extent?

    3. “And history reveals that the more people engage with each other through trade, investment, education, and travel, the freer and more developed they become.” — Is this necessarily true? Or are freedom and development the causes of trade, investment, etc.?

Responses welcome!

date Copyright January 12, 2015 by Bewildering Stories
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