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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 248

The Androids Are Not Waiting for Godot

  1. Androids, robots, monsters, shape-shifters, and the just plain undead play a large role in this issue. Mix and match: which characterization of the non- or formerly-human simulacra best fits which title?

    1. Tala Bar, Women in Autumn
    2. Steven Berry, “Beneath the Floor
    3. Mark Eller, “Hunt Night
    4. Bertil Falk, Requiem for an Android
    5. Gary Inbinder, Noble Lies
    6. Michael Merriam, “Protect and Serve
    1. benevolent
    2. clever
    3. hostile
    4. ironic
    5. reproachful
    6. transcendental

    The non-human figures all embody a moral, be it one of politics or morality. What is the moral in each case?

  2. Steven Berry’s “Beneath the Floor” ends with: “Len’s got one hell of a welcome home treat coming to him.” Is the understatement effective? Or would you prefer a different ending?
  3. Likewise, is the ending of Robert Laughlin’s “Moving the Picture Show” too much of an understatement in view of the conflict caused by audience interference with the films? Can you think of a different ending?

  4. What is the setting and motivation in Mark Eller’s “Hunt Night”? Can the reader piece together what is happening and why? Or does it take too much detective work? Is “Hunt Night” a short story or does it seem to be a chapter from a novella?

  5. Some readers object to the vampires and werewolves at the end of Michael Merriam’s “Protect and Serve.” Would the story be strengthened or weakened if Constable Wellner did not have to take them into consideration?

  6. Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot satirizes fatalism in religion, among other things. What does João Ventura’s brief parody “They” satirize?

  7. Does the allusion to James M. Cain’s crime and romance novel The Postman Always Rings Twice spoil or strengthen Dike Okoro’s poem “I Will Remember Her”?

Responses welcome!

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