Department header
Bewildering Stories

Challenge 842

Thinking Is Futile?

  1. In Natan Dubovitsky’s Near Zero, chapter 5, what opportunities does Yegor have in life? In what ways does he exemplify futility?

  2. In Channie Greenberg’s Living as Lovingly as Living Charif:

    1. What is charif?
    2. Even if readers who know no Hebrew found translations of aliyah and t’shuva, what else would they need to know?
    3. What are “Eretz Yisrael” and “Am Yisrael”? Who is the intended audience of this poem?
  3. In Bill Teitelbaum’s The Questionnaires:

    1. Do any of the passengers avail themselves of the opportunity that the questionnaires provide? How does the story amass examples of futility?
    2. The questionnaires resemble Bewildering Stories’ Challenges. But about what? And what might it mean that they are they produced with old-style technology?
    3. The story’s narrative style is characterized by lengthy, even run-on sentences. And yet the questionnaires are the opposite. The disparity is glaringly obvious. What is its function?
  4. In Gary Cifton’s The Last Word:

    1. The cases against Hook and Oscar are ironclad: witness, weapon, forensic evidence. Could their legal counsel have avoided the death sentences by having them plead guilty?
    2. What do the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution provide? Maggs accepts the Eighth Amendment, but would she prefer earlier 18th-century law? What punishment would — for example — George Washington and Thomas Jefferson have faced if they had been captured in the American Revolution of 1776?
    3. When Maggs and McCoy capture Hook and Oscar, why do they not torture and kill them, hide the bodies and let the murder cases go cold?

Responses welcome!

date Copyright © February 3, 2020 by Bewildering Stories
What is a Bewildering Stories Challenge?

Home Page