Department header
Bewildering Stories

Challenge 657

Sniffing in the Depths

  1. In Charles C. Cole’s “Happy Transition Day”:

    1. In what manner does Junior offer his father, Waldo, the “transition” pills? How would you expect the ceremony to take place?
    2. What emotions do Junior and Waldo allude to, each in turn, but seem to repress?
    3. As an actor, how would you play each role?
  2. In Lana Bella’s “The Quiet Roots of an Ancient Tree,” the poem might be classified as a lament. For what, exactly?

  3. In Andrea Laws’ “A Disfigured Persona with Vivid Streams,” the poem strikes first a note of despondence. At what? Then it sounds a note of triumph. For what?

  4. In Edward Ahern’s “Damn Dog Died,” what emotion is attached to the expression “damn dog”?

  5. In Terry L. Mirll’s “Karat Cake,” Stevens finds that the transmutation machine is emitting exceedingly strange particles. What are they, and what might they mean? Why might Stevens react to the discovery with such dismay?

  6. In Elous Telma’s “Watermelon in the Hole,” how does Nannion’s exploration mirror that of the biologists with their submersible?

  7. In Bruce Pavalon’s “Wouldn’t It Be Nice...”:

    1. What allusions to popular music and culture can you find?
    2. Why does Anini think of giant corporations as space aliens?
    3. Is it still possible that Aaron might be a space-alien spy with a case of amnesia?
  8. In Robert Earle’s “Weapons-Grade Humanity”:

    1. On what note does the story end? Happy? Forlorn? Despairing? Resigned?
    2. What other stories can you find in modern science fiction that use the premise of unconventional flight? Are they similar to Robert Earle’s, or are they different?
    3. Does the story overstep BwS’ guideline “Any story based on current events is out of date before it’s written”?
    4. In The Other World, Cyrano de Bergerac recapitulates the history of flight in the 20th century, some 325 years in advance. How do Cyrano’s airborne voyages resemble those in this story? In what way might they be seen as cultural “weapons”?

Responses welcome!


Copyright February 29, 2016
by Bewildering Stories

What is a Bewildering Stories Challenge?

Home Page