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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 672

On the Imbalance Beam

  1. In Elous Telma‘s “Retreat and Ponder,” Frank does not see the “humanoid” figure as threatening. Why is J-Cap wary of Frank’s vision?

  2. In Jude Conlee’s “Steps 1 to 10,” does the essay overstep Bewildering Stories’ guideline about stories or essays that end with “but it was all a dream” or the equivalent?

  3. In Patrick Doerksen’s The Monarch’s Madness”:

    1. Why might “apothecaries” be a better choice of word than “pharmacies”?
    2. Elyon says, “I was like you, long ago.” What does she mean?
  4. In Bill McCormick’s “Fourteen Frogs”:

    1. Why has the football game begun so unusually early?
    2. How many cultural references are liable to baffle readers in the U.S.A., let alone those in other countries?
    3. “Politics in a novel is like a gunshot in a concert” — Stendhal. Is that the case in this story?
    4. Science fiction or fantasy stories based on magically maintaining a “balance” of some sort are not exactly common, but they do exist. Can you cite any others?
  5. In Charles C. Cole’s “Equivocation”:

    1. Is the conclusion “listen to your heart” itself an equivocation? Why might it be the best answer to the old man’s alternatives?
    2. In what way is the lady’s answer, “No,” equivocal? How does it put an end to an even larger equivocation?
    3. Must the lady answer “No” only for the reasons stated by the old man? Might she have a reason of her own?
    4. What if the lady had not fallen: do you think her answer to the old man’s question would have been any different?

Responses welcome!

date Copyright June 27, 2016 by Bewildering Stories
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