Department header
Bewildering Stories

Challenge 860

Yours Truly

  1. In Natan Dubovitsky’s Near Zero, Chapter 23:

    1. What do you make of Yegor’s lament? Whom does he pity?
    2. In what ways does little Nastenka treat Yegor as though she were the parent and he, the child?
    3. Nastenka learns the imprecation “What depravity! What bullshit!” from Yegor. Whom does she apply it to? Which usage is more appropriate: his or hers?
  2. In Morris J. Marshall’s Back to the Barber Shop: The narrator and his father are both mulishly stubborn about hair style. How likely is it that hair was the only conflict they had? How far does the concluding reconciliation really go?

  3. Harrison Kim’s Just Inside the Frame and Farideh Hassanzadeh’s Pen Pals illustrate the perils and advantages, respectively, of relationship by correspondence. What advantage did Balzac and Mme Hanska have that Lana and Sammi both deliberately forfeit?

  4. In Lizz Bogaard’s More, Please:

    1. How might the tone of the story change if the name “Sylvia” were not mentioned up front but saved for the end?
    2. What might be the effect of identifying Sylvia immediately as a cute little bunny rabbit?
  5. In Bob Welbaum’s When Your Number Comes Up, Jerome has been implanted with a new gadget that is known to predict life expectancy with uncanny accuracy.

    1. Does the title give the story away?
    2. When the gadget reports that Jerome’s life expectancy is zero, what is the logical course of action?
    3. What would happen if every soldier were equipped with the electronic oracle?

    Responses welcome!

    date Copyright © June 15 2020 by Bewildering Stories
    What is a Bewildering Stories Challenge?

Home Page