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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 645


  1. In Michael Lee Johnson’s “Barely a Portrait: Images, Transitions,” the author included the name and location of a particular high school in an epigraph. Why might the editor have chosen to omit the reference?

  2. In Channie Greenberg’s The Owmapow Chronicles, is Dr. Owen Brownstone a victim of others? In what way might he be his own victim?

  3. In Ada Fetter’s “The Last Journey of Chiron Baxter”:

    1. Why is Chiron Baxter’s “journey” his “last” one?
    2. What different levels of reality might the various characters represent?
  4. In Walter Giersbach’s “Truth and Consequences”:

    1. What kind of “wild talent” does Marshall seem to have: Telepathy? Second sight? A combination of the two that gives him a kind of local omniscience?
    2. What might indicate that Marshall can foresee the future? What seems to prevent him from foreseeing the consequences of his “telling the truth”?
  5. In Bill Kowaleski’s “Knots”:

    1. Glen obviously has a very “knotty” personal problem or set of problems. The other characters have “knots” of their own. What are they?
    2. Does Glen’s boss, Bill, do the right thing? Can he? And what is the “right thing” to do? What would happen if he reported Glen’s case to HR (Human Relations)?
  6. In Mike Acker’s “Blue Bayous”:

    1. Do the colors in the third stanza reflect in some way those in the second stanza?
    2. What state of mind does the poem seem to describe? Amnesia? Existential displacement?
    3. Does the tense shift in the last stanza — from the past tense to the present tense — seem to have any function? Might the poem be more coherent if it were narrated in the present tense?
    4. Reading the poem as a story, does it overstep BwS’ guideline against plots that end with “but it was all a dream” or the equivalent? Or does the poem imply a “larger story”?

Responses welcome!

date Copyright November 23, 2015 by Bewildering Stories
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