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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 684

No Turning Back

  1. In Hannah Sandoval’s “Hi, I’m Corpse Bride Barbie”:

    1. What weaknesses make the high-school girls subject to Heidi?
    2. At the end, Arabella says, “Please, I take it back!” Why can’t she?
    3. Is the story a cautionary tale, a revenge fantasy, or both at once?
  2. In Mark Keane’s “The Laptop”:

    1. Aside from having the same name as his great-uncle, why might Samuel Dunne be interested in writing a biography of his ancestor?
    2. In the “slide show” of pictures from Dunne’s past, does Dunne see what the reader sees?
    3. Does the new laptop function as a machine to view the past or as an oracle? Can Dunne escape his past or not? Is the ending poetic justice? Fate? Or does it come too early?
  3. In Bill Kowaleski’s “Politics Unusual”:

    1. The story uses various kinds of symbolism. What might it signify? Consider:
      1. animals: a donkey, bulldog and sheep, for the three space-alien species;
      2. names, particularly Donne and McKinley;
      3. colors: blue and gray for the political parties.
    2. McKinley says that political parties represent only coalitions seeking power, not political programs. How would you characterize his position? Is it true, false, realistic, or cynical?

      Bonus questions:

      1. In the course of the 1968 campaign for the U.S. presidency, one of the candidates said, “Pay attention only to what politicians say they’ll do that they can do.” Was it: Lyndon B. Johnson, Robert F. Kennedy, Eugene J. McCarthy, or Richard M. Nixon?

      2. In the 1930’s, the German “power elite” applied the fictional McKinley’s principle to Adolf Hitler, with what consequences? Had Hitler given his public any indication of what he might do, if he could?

    3. Why does John decide to vote for McKinley? Is he dependable? What moral character does John display with his use of the donkey-ET’s magic wristwatch?

    4. Is the story about the 2016 U.S. presidential election? Something else? Something in addition?

    Responses welcome!

    date Copyright September 26, 2016 by Bewildering Stories
    What is a Bewildering Stories Challenge?

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