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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 753

Who’s Your Ghost?

  1. In A. Elizabeth Herting’s “Moments Upon the Stage”:

    1. In what ways is everyone in Claudia’s family an actor playing roles? How might Claudia’s therapists be included?
    2. Who is the only character who appears to have an authentic personality? Does Claudia finally achieve one and step out of her “role”?
  2. In Ada Fetters’ “Meatspace and MAIA”:

    1. As a dramatic device, how is augmented reality viewed as comic? What incidents could be played for laughs but are depicted straight-facedly rather than humorously?
    2. By what stages does Estlin move from a potentially humorous setting to increasingly ominous and far-reaching realities?
    3. What does the conclusion of the story imply about artificial hallucinations’ inducing real delusions? How might the fiction of augmented reality affect politics, for example?
  3. In Oonah V. Joslin’s “Book Sniffers Anonymous”:

    1. How does the poem satirize media preferences, i.e. print versus digital?
    2. Could a “book-sniffer” write something similar about digital obsessives?
    3. The narrator professes an allergy to paper. What is the narrator’s real criticism of “book-sniffing”?
  4. In Steve Carr’s “Round and Round” and Ronald Schulte’s “Home Brew”:

    1. In what way are the stories similar? How are they different?
    2. Which is portrayed as worse: an obsessive childhood trauma or alcoholism?
    3. Is “Round and Round” a classic tragedy? Why doesn’t the “I” character kill Janine?
    4. Is “Home Brew” comic, tragic or ironic?
    5. Do both stories qualify wholly or partially as horror fiction?

Responses welcome!

date Copyright March 12, 2018 by Bewildering Stories
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