Sequence of Events
In Jack Phillips Lowe’s “Where This Was Going”: What story would you write based on the premise outlined in the poem?
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?
In Keith Frady’s “The Dragon Said to the Knight”:
- 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”?
- How does this story end? Does it contain a surprise or surprises? What hackneyed clichés does it overturn?
- Would the story easier to understand if it were formatted as a play script?
- Does the story require that the reader be familiar with the “twisted fairy tales” subgenre?
In Saor Hawk’s “The Program”:
- What is the narrator’s attitude toward his mother?
- Does the mother acknowledge the narrator as her son? Does she even seem to notice him?
- Why might the narrator justifiably resent “the Program”?
- 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?
- Who is at fault for the emotional estrangement depicted in the story: the son, the mother or both?
In Judith A. Boss’s “Slice of Life”:
- Who is the little boy, and what happens to him? Would anything else in the story change if the character were omitted?
- Who is Ben?
- Is the “heavy-set man” the one who is shot in the alley?
- Who are the three men “in dark suits”? Why does Stanley perceive them as projecting “sinister plans”?
- Does Stanley’s perception of the murder in the alley come before, during or after his operation?
- 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?
In Douglas Young’s “An American Visits China”:
- “Waitresses would offer me a fork.” — Why might it come as no surprise that the waitress would offer the author a fork?
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?
“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.?
What is a Bewildering Stories Challenge?