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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 676

Missed It by That Much

  1. In Charles C. Cole’s “Better Off Forgotten,” is the parting line — “Why did you bother to say anything at all?” — more plausibly said by Cathy or by the narrator, speaking to himself? What might be the answer to the question?

  2. In Michael Siciliano’s “The Betrayal of Zoar”:

    1. At what point might the reader reasonably surmise that Phillip, the narrator, is a spy planted within Sindri’s organization?
    2. At what point in history might the “alternate” world have diverged from Aaron’s?

    3. Aaron is said to have a curious accent. Might his speech alone confirm his claim that he comes from another timeline? Would he even speak the same language as the people of the Tuvesk Federation?

    4. At the end, Phillip escapes. Does Aaron?
    5. Phillip is relieved to escape to a world where violence, oppression and deceit are not normal. His own world seems to have been similar to Aaron’s at some time in the past. What, exactly, has gone wrong in Tuvesk? Is it made clear, or does Phillip think in generalities? In what way does the story appear to take a partisan position in the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign?

  3. In Stephan James’ “Unity of the Citizenry”:

    1. Why does Wellin feel remorse for having betrayed Horton?
    2. Why is Wellin executed rather than rewarded?
    3. Does the story overstep BwS’ “dead narrator” guideline?
  4. In Wiliam Q. Belle’s “Don’t Bother With Me”:

    1. Is Grandpa Barkley’s will — that his heirs be frozen and their estates turned over to his Cryonics Institute — legally enforceable in any jurisdiction?
    2. What more efficient and less messy form of murder might Hobsworth arrange than a spectacular traffic “accident”? Could he simply make the recalcitrant Barkley an “offer he can’t refuse”?

    3. What protection and connections would Hobsworth need in order to operate what amounts to a crime syndicate?

Responses welcome!

date Copyright July 25, 2016 by Bewildering Stories
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