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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 661

Your Cull Is Important to Us

  1. In Thomas Lee Joseph Smith’s A Rose by Any Other Name,” some names contain numbers. Consider: if a name contains a number, what does the number imply?

  2. In Gary Inbinder’s “A Ripe Red Apple,” what is the morality of the narrator? Is it that of a dispassionate instrument of fate or of a cruel wormslayer and cynical ecological depredator?

  3. In Bruce Pavalon’s Space Girl Blues, compare the characters Nikoli and Aaron as they have emerged so far. What advantages does Nikoli seem to have that Aaron does not?

  4. In Terry L. Mirll’s “Karat Cake,” Stevens refuses to divulge to the Old Man the terrible effects of the transmutation device. Does the story to date give any hint of what the secret might be?

  5. In William Quincy Belle’s “The Calling”:

    1. What kind of society do Louise and her family live in? Does “Bishop” Webster’s church resemble any known today?
    2. Any other form of matter could be converted to energy. Why people? Is it plausible that any of the energy supposedly derived from vaporizing people is actually used?
    3. No one knows why anyone is “called.” How does the population live with the systematic uncertainty? What does prospective fertility seem to have to do with it?
    4. Why might Louise be “called” — or culled — rather than Sally? How might Louise have inadvertently sealed her own fate?

Responses welcome!


Copyright April 4, 2016
by Bewildering Stories

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