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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 836

Trade Peace

  1. In Charles C. Cole’s Hiking With Angels, why does Arvis lure his supposed friends to their deaths? Might the story provide an abbreviated example of a “disinformation operation”?

  2. In Zhanna Smith’s The Magpies and the Cuckoos, the essay cites a documented case of a disinformation operation performed by the Soviet KGB in 1983. How might a rogue hacker collective — or even a single individual — anywhere in the world do something similar today?

  3. In David Whippman’s Freudian Greatness, how effectively might psychoanalysis treat megalomania?

  4. In Jeffrey Greene’s This House Is Unguarded:

    1. Is the Yeti’s gift really bacteria-ridden? What might have happened if the narrator had responded in kind with a similar offering?
    2. The narrator judges his mission a failure. Is the failure his fault? Do the Yeti break their promise to send an ambassador? If the object is merely an exchange of goods rather than communication, why propose a formal meeting under such strenuous conditions?

  5. In Walter Giersbach’s Secret Agent in Sky City, how does Huang know where to wait for the would-be terrorist bomber? Why can he be sure she is not carrying a nuclear weapon?

  6. In Jerry Guarino’s Bullets for Dessert, why might a cinematic enactment of a shoot-out at a Tim Horton’s reflect the current state of the franchise since its acquisition by a Brazilian megacorporation? Does the filming sequence dampen or add a note of irony to Tony’s sentimental attachment to Canada?

  7. In John Haymaker’s The Legend of Potter’s Field:

    1. The prison is located in “upstate New York.” The guards carry Soviet-issue AK47 rifles. How would the guards normally be armed?
    2. The prison has multiple-occupancy cells. Is the arrangement normal?
    3. Would maximum-security prisoners ever be sent into a public space on a work detail?
    4. What does Marty do — in addition to committing murder — to indicate he is a sociopath? Would a sociopath even think of his own death, let alone be fixated upon it?

    Responses welcome!

    date Copyright © December 9, 2019 by Bewildering Stories
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