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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 638

Ready and Waiting


  1. In Carmen Ruggero’s “My Home Is Ready,” the home is obviously tidy and comfortable. What is it “ready” for?

  2. In Ann Keith’s “This Is the Door,” how might the poem be written without negations? What would the result be?

  3. In Bertrand Cayzac’s “Sunt lacrimae rerum,” the General Nutriment Company’s Customer Service Department is located on the far side of the Moon. In what way does that reflect the situation described in “Annoyance Factor”?

  4. In Bryan Brown’s “Celeste’s Secret”:

    1. The algae go to a lot of trouble to rehsape and resuscitate Celeste, who has drowned. Why not nab a live swimmer?
    2. What is the function of Don’s drinking Celeste’s cold coffee? Does it affect the subsequent revelation of the algae wars in any way?

    3. Are Celeste and the doctor human, zombies or something else?
  5. In Richard B. Walsh’s “Hunter in the Ruins”:

    1. Suresh claims to have trouble reading the factory’s operating manuals. Does he really find them much more difficult than he would have before the apocalypse?
    2. Is the “Predator” much more than a nuisance?

    3. Is the last paragraph of the story thought by Suresh or is it an observation inserted by the author? How is it uncharacteristic of Suresh? How might it point to a sequel?

  6. In Gary Clifton’s “On Frailty’s Honor”:

    1. Does the title fit the story? If so, in what way?
    2. What is Garcia’s function in the story?

    3. Max is depicted as being mentally handicapped and a pedophile. The two character traits are not mutually inclusive. How else might Max be characterized?

    4. Why does McCoy feel guilty about Megan’s conviction and fate? Is his guilt earned or unearned? What might he have done differently?
  7. In Chris Capps’ “Hands from the Sky”:

    1. Why is the flying object called a “cathedral”? Does anything distinguish it from, say, a flying saucer?
    2. The “hands” apparently reach out to those who are about to die. Do they also reach out to those who are already dead?

    3. How does the cathedral know whom to reach for? Does it have foreknowledge, or does it make self-fulfilling prophecies?
    4. How might Edgar’s ascension to the cathedral cause it to “drift away”? Does Edgar disrupt the cathedral’s routine?

    5. Do any of the characters act unusually on account of the flying cathedral’s presence?

Responses welcome!

date Copyright October 5, 2015 by Bewildering Stories
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