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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 807

Catch It, If You Can

  1. In Gerard Coulombe’s Slash Slash, Screech Screech:

    1. Does the poem describe a scene that is tragic, comic or farcical? What clue might be provided by the use of Gilbert & Sullivan grammar for the sake of rhyme?
    2. What are the two characters’ positions? Are their spatial relationships literally possible? If they’re metaphorical, what do they mean?
    3. Can you think of a way in which the title might relate to the poem?
    4. For whom might the reader feel sorry: “she,” “he,” or the dog?
  2. In James Robert Rudolph’s Your Country Club in Hell, “a clot of old vampires” [...] “talk of Satie and Proust” [...] “but they are as parasitic as sea lampreys.”
    What’s wrong with talking about masters of music and literature? How are the “country club” members parasitic vampires? Are they evil merely because they’re old?

  3. In L. S. Popovich’s Echoes From Dust:

    1. Why does Izzalia prefer to wear her scars as badges of honor? What do they imply about the Council’s function in the story?
    2. Chapter 18, “The Bazaar,” might qualify as a pastoral interlude. How does it appear to advance the plot?
  4. In Michael Harshbarger’s George and Marcus in Transit:

    1. Does the story parody a literary subgenre? If so, what might it be?
    2. The conclusion states a theological premise to the action. Taken literally, does it reflect any earthly creed or is it sheer nihilism? Taken figuratively, does it qualify the story as a satire? If so, of what?
  5. In J. C. D. Kerwin’s The Bounty Hunter:

    1. What are the functions of George and Dirken? Are both characters necessary?
    2. Why is Clarence called the “Shadow Man”? Why might the readers surmise, on first meeting him, that he is a villain?
    3. Why does Jacky have only three days to capture the Shadow Man?
    4. What are the Lilocks?
  6. In A. M. Johnson’s The Thing About Curses:

    1. Why is the sleazy bar owner referred to only by initials rather than a name? What is the character’s function in the story? Does he have one besides adding emphasis to the description of the bar?
    2. Red is characterized as a serial killer with a peculiar fetish and as a “borderline psychopath.” Is either characterization necessary?
    3. Where does Red murder Marie: in the cabin or in the cave? If in the cabin, why does he bother to haul her body on a long and arduous trek to the cave?
    4. A rejuvenated Marie transforms Red into her familiar, Pearl. How does she do that, and why? What becomes of the previous Pearl? Is the transformation a punishment or a reward?

    Responses welcome!

    date Copyright May 6, 2019 by Bewildering Stories
    What is a Bewildering Stories Challenge?

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