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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 818

Be Careful What You Pull On

  1. In Ed Blundell’s The Myth of the Mermaid, readers can say that the story is “predictable” when the two schoolboys first discover the mermaid. Is “predictable” a fault? What point does the story make?

  2. In Franco Amati’s No “I” on a First Date, what kind of present-day social convention does the story satirize?

  3. In Tetsuya Sato’s King Anisika:

    1. Identify the various political and economic structures that King Anisika tries when he’s asked for reform.
    2. The story ends in tragedy. What is King Anisika’s tragic flaw? What is the people’s tragic flaw?
  4. In L. S. Popovich’s Sacrifice, Riku is told by her “god” to intervene when an argument gets out of hand. Judging by the story to date, what are the “gods,” exactly? Voices of the characters’ conscience? Alternate physical forms? Puppet masters? How much free will do the characters seem to have?

  5. In C. M. Fields’ A Brief History of Us:

    1. Is the lyrical essay a parody of Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time or is it a corollary?
    2. The law of the conservation of energy tells us that we are not only “stardust,” we are — like everything else — progeny of the Big Bang. So what? What’s the point? Or does the cosmos itself constitute an attempt to answer that question?
  6. In Edna C. Horning’s A Spirit of Fun, what really destroys the ugly ceramic? Does the cat do it? But “readers take everything literally unless they know to do otherwise.” What shall Spence do with his grandson’s toy weapon now that it has proved to be real?

  7. In Ken Poyner’s Interstellar Sport, does the does the poem outline the plot of any space opera you may have read? Is the poem allegorical in any way? If so, how?

Responses welcome!

date Copyright © July 29, 2019 by Bewildering Stories
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