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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 635

Slip-Sliding Away

  1. In James Shaffer’s “Back to the World”:

    1. How has John Piper inadvertently “enabled” his father’s gambling addiction? Would the plot have played out differently if Tom Piper had followed John’s instructions?
    2. Why does Ed Will bring Tom Piper from Kansas to New Mexico?
    3. Where is Kelly Jo’s marksmanship foreshadowed?
    4. How might John have planted Ed Will’s gun as “false forensic” to imply that Ed had killed all or most of the people the police will eventually find in the motel room?
    5. Why can’t John give Tom a proper burial?
    6. Since John and Kelly Jo “disappear,” what is John going to do with Ed Will’s ledger?
  2. In Gabriela Houston’s “Before I Was Human”:

    1. The two “humans” that Heeny sees in part 3 are “fat.” Why? Why is the man in the booth not wearing protective gear?
    2. What infirmities do the “presentients” and “sentients” have?
    3. Is Heeny really seven years old? If so, why does Kendry Williamson dismiss the notion that he is a “child”?
    4. The setting is not post-apocalyptic, it’s “apocalypse now.” How might the story play out if at least some of the environmental conditions were known at the beginning?
  3. In Chris Rozik’s “Flash Flood,” how might the flood be read as a symbol of deliberate or inadvertent forgetting?

  4. In Oonah V. Joslin’s “Hope Is Transparent”:

    1. Who and what speak in the poem? What do their words imply?
    2. How does “transparent” apply to the poem?
  5. In Bob Welbaum’s “One Last Chance,” who is the story really about: Brandy or Jake?

  6. In Richard King Perkins, II’s “McMammoth”:

    1. Did “our ancestors” look upon mammoths in the same way as we do?
    2. What does it mean that the image of mammoths becomes a toy? What does “mc” imply?
  7. In Ron Van Sweringen’s “A Cup of Tea and an Egg Roll,” do the restaurant owners have to be Chinese? Do the “other restaurants” have to be Italian? What is Buggs Morton’s ethnicity? What difference does it make what they are?

Responses welcome!

date Copyright September 7, 2015 by Bewildering Stories
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