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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 629

Unjust Desserts

  1. In Charles C. Cole’s “Sisters of Promise,” what is the irony in the conclusion?

  2. In Oonah V. Joslin’s “In His Boots,” how does the poem illustrate the constraints of archeology? In attempting a dialogue with the past, who are we really talking about?

  3. In Gene Twaronite’s “From Wherever,” what are the comic elements in the story? What might it imply about horror fiction in general?

  4. In Jill Hand’s “The Dream Room”:

    1. What is at the center of the story: Grace’s mysterious disappearance or the narrator’s inconsolable grief at the loss of her cousin?

    2. Since dreams are not reality but a mode of interpretation, how might the story be read allegorically? If the “dream room” is taken as an unreferenced symbol, what might we suppose has actually happened to Grace?

    3. Does the story reach a conclusion or does it imply a larger story?

  5. In Daniel Ross Goodman’s “The End of Days”:

    1. “Before the days when the world became crazy, Yossef Benshída liked to wonder what things would be like in the end of days.” — When did the world become “crazy” and how did it do so?

    2. In view of Yossef’s description of his futuristic “rocketship backpack,” what is the unconscious irony in Mr. Q’s reproach that Yossef’s project is “unscientific”?

    3. What might Mr. Q’s jar of beans symbolize? Why might Yossef react so strongly to it?

    4. In what way does Yossef’s father resemble Mr. Q? What illness might make him querulous?

    5. In what way does Yossef’s mother fulfill his dream? How might the story be read as an extended parable?

Responses welcome!

date Copyright July 27, 2015 by Bewildering Stories
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