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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 858

Picking Up the Pieces

  1. In Gary Clifton’s Lost Souls, why is the story important in light of the events of May? That is, not necessarily in Paris in 1968 but in Minneapolis and the USA in 2020?

  2. In Natan Dubovitsky’s Near Zero, chapter 21, to what kind of literature does Nastya prefer the film Wall-E? Is Nastya’s characterization supposed to imply she has bad taste? If so, what can be said of Yegor’s?

  3. In Martin Lochman’s What Used To Be Mom:

    1. What is the difference between transforming into a “bean” and dying?
    2. How can the airline passengers be indifferent to the bean pandemic? How can Lubo — or anybody — take a plane flight without worrying that the pilots might suddenly transform into into beans in mid-air?
    3. The transformation seems to be one-way; no one recovers. Why isn’t the world thrown into a panic?
  4. In Mickey Corrigan’s Trigger Warnings:

    1. In Home, what is the function of the news broadcast about the presidential primary? Does it have any cause or effect? For the record: neither Springfield nor her parents ever talk about politics with anyone.

    2. What is Springfield’s state of mind in the first episode? How does she feel about herself? How do her parents treat her?

    3. In Lit Prof, what attitude does Professor Ivaniloff take toward his students? Does Springfield approve of it? How does she feel about herself and the professor?

    4. In First Trigger, who are the authors of The Assassination Bureau, Ltd.? How is Springfield’s fascination with the novel reflected in her feelings about Austin? What feelings does Springfield have about herself?

  5. In Joshua J. Mark’s Beyond Time and Circumstance:

    1. The colonel says that Nicole Baumann is “the best.” In the interview, why does he appear not to know who she is?
    2. Why did Nicole marry Trey?
    3. Does the expedition to interstellar space have any discernible purpose in itself? Even with someone other than Nicole Baumann, what is it supposed to accomplish?
    4. What happens to time for a person traveling at or near light-speed?
    5. Nicole Baumann is fixated upon “winning.” What does she lose? Space flight fulfills her ambition, but does she live to regret Amanda’s death any longer than if she had stayed on Earth?
  6. In Rick Kennett’s The Gods in Their Galleries:

    1. Why do the aliens give Cy a pet spider? Is it of the same kind as the ones who curate the art?
    2. If the aliens regenerate the dead, are they an enemy?
    3. When Cy had the spider on her head, why did the fungus relive an event from years before?
    4. “By coincidence this is the very ship I used as a shelter when I was marooned here.” Are there ever any coincidences or accidents in literature?
    5. The aliens can write in a human language. Why don't they write a full letter and explain themselves?
    6. How does Cy feel about her vocation as a warrior and alien art?

  7. Responses welcome!

    date Copyright © June 1, 2020 by Bewildering Stories
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