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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 850

On Whom the Joke’s Told

  1. In Natan Dubovitsky’s Near Zero, Chapter 13:

    1. Why does Crybaby re-estblish contact with Yegor?
    2. Does Yegor love Crybaby? Why is he smitten with her?
    3. List the targets of satire in chapter 13. Do they seem to have anything in common?
  2. In Bill Kowaleski’s The Manifesto:

    1. What personal motive does Maria Schoenbrun seem to have for attacking the Cygnians and fusion power, other than sheer opportunism?
    2. What does Miles add to Maria’s manifesto? Why might Maria feel ambivalent about the additions?
    3. What information in the Prolog might shed light on Miles’ motives?
  3. In Cheryl Wood Ruggiero’s Knock-Knock, why might one suspect that the space aliens are indulging in a joke of their own by pretending to know less than they do?

  4. In LindaAnn LoSchiavo’s Every Theatre Hosts a Ghost, every theatre has a “ghost light.” What is its purpose?

  5. In Walt Giersbach’s Treasure in the Jersey Barrens, how does the story treat gender stereotypes?

  6. In Gary Clifton’s False Start, what convinces Maggs and McCoy that the fire was accidental?

  7. In Charles C. Cole’s Owning My Mistake, what is the narrator’s mistake? Is it entirely his own, or does his mother reciprocate it?

  8. In John Mara’s The Skeleton’s Scrapbook:

    1. What is the function of Jo’s scientific research? Why is it necessary to the plot? Does it amount to any more than wishful thinking?
    2. What is Boomer’s tragic flaw?
  9. In Daniel Stride’s A Breath Through Silver:

    1. Why does Manfred think his victory over Dnosti is “hollow”? Why does he sympathize with the Black Huldo? Does the direction of his departure signify that he shares the Black Huldo’s wish?
    2. How did Isaac Asimov depict characters who have the same philosophy as the Black Huldo?
    3. What does Manfred have to think about that isn’t already plain?

Responses welcome!

date Copyright © April 6, 2020 by Bewildering Stories
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