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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 606

Monitor the Monitors

  1. In John W. Steele’s The Chronicle of Belthaeous, chapters 8 and 9, particularly, what actions do Rodney Neumann and Dr. Nacroanus take that reveal the contrasts between their respective personalities?

  2. In Michael Murry’s “A Diurnal Dialectic”:

    1. Does the epigraph add to or detract from the poem?
    2. What is “the poet’s pornographic play”?
    3. What is “The question that our language begs”?
    4. What does the “god of Lies” conceal?
  3. In Jedd Cole’s “Quantified Man,” what is the dramatic function of the “monitors”? Would Brandt’s and Viola’s relationship be affected in any substantial way if the monitors didn’t exist?

  4. In Julian Drury’s “Comet Song”:

    1. In what way does the story avoid overstepping Bewildering Stories’ “dead narrator” guideline?
    2. If the comet’s “song” is only a madman’s delusion, does the story overstep our guideline about plots that end with “but it was all a dream”?

  5. In Jill Hand’s “The Trouble With Tulpas”:

    1. The narrator has the “uneasy feeling” that Dave might reappar as a tulpa at an “inopportune moment.” Though possible, why does such a reappearance seem unlikely?
    2. The narrator works a night shift at a laboratory. Would he really need to use the “high-occupancy vehicle” lane? How heavy would the traffic be in the regular lanes outside of rush hour?

  6. In Ron Van Sweringen’s “The Door to Forever”:

    1. By stepping through the door, does Robert die and go to a medieval image of Heaven?

    2. The voice says that Robert is afraid to open the door. Is he? Why does the voice persuade the door to open rather than Robert to open it? How trustworthy is the voice?

    3. Goethe’s Faust neatly sidesteps his bargain with Mephistopheles by saying, “I might almost say to the moment, ‘Tarry, you are so beautiful’” (Fast möchte ich zum Augenblicke sagen...). Thank God for modal subjunctives. Robert doesn’t say what Faust does. Has Robert unwittingly made a deal with the Devil?

Responses welcome!

date Copyright February 2, 2015 by Bewildering Stories
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