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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 814

House Security

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

    1. Is Izzalia aware that her beast-form is running amok?
    2. Does Izzalia know the significance of the sword relic she has touched? Why does Ovid worry about it?
  2. In Nick Sweeney’s A Blossom From Bosnia, where and when, exactly, does the story take place?

  3. In Scott Hughes’ Songcaster and Little Dune, do the Songcaster’s “magick” spells have limitations and rules of use? If so, what are they?

  4. In Meg Smith’s Coffin Birth, what does the title mean? As a medical term, now mercifully rare, it refers to abortion caused by the mother’s death, such as might have been almost commonplace in plague years such as those of the 14th century. Is the theme of the poem death or the cycle of life?

  5. In Robin Helweg-Larsen’s Unexplained:

    1. Is the crow’s arrival seen immediately as an omen of death, or is it only recalled as such?
    2. Since Kenyans don’t view crows as death symbols, do they have an equivalent? What else has a similar function in other cultures?
  6. In Robin Ray’s The Eye of Balance:

    1. Why does Pelicor offer himself as a sacrifice to restore the “balance” of nature? Is his motivation clear? Might a less drastic solution be found?
    2. What does it mean that the homesteader chooses to wear the talisman?
  7. In Jerry Guarino’s The Great Zucchini:

    1. Can Paul, the zucchini farmer, be said to have a tragic flaw? If so, what is it?
    2. Desiree seems to be very quick on the uptake. What might she do with the zucchini? How long might her luck last? What, rather than who, might put a limit on it?
  8. In Roman Wolujewicz’s Happiness Is a Place Out There:

    1. The “Light” is the Martians’ culture. What kind of earthly culture does it resemble?
    2. What is the “Terradome”? What function does it seem to have?
    3. What is the main focus of Ralc’s dream of the “blue planet”?
    4. Would an invasion from Earth necessarily be better than an invasion from Mars on Earth?
  9. In Daniel C. Smith’s Space Weapons:

    1. Are governments the only entities engaged in space travel?
    2. Will space law differ in any substantial way from maritime law governing international waters?
    3. What are the rules concerning piracy both on the high seas and in coastal waters?
    4. How likely is it that any nation will put troops in space? Even if it could, what would they do? Couldn’t robots disarm and destroy weapons of mass destruction?
    5. Is war really humanity’s “only real enemy”? What about famine, poverty and plague, not to mention irrational fear?

Responses welcome!

date Copyright © July 1, 2019 by Bewildering Stories
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