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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 268

You Can’t Get Here From There

  1. In Zachary Ash’s “Ariel’s Inferno”:

    1. What is the significance of the name “Zoroaster’s Clock”?
    2. Why was the original expedition to Zoroaster’s Clock controversial? What might the arguments have been? What does it mean that the poet’s attempt to eradicate evil has the opposite effect?
    3. Are the demons a natural or a moral catastrophe?
    4. The pilot is not forgetful. Why, then, does the pilot forget the location of the music school? Why might the memory have been repressed?
    5. Why does the Ariel’s pilot seek out a star on the rim of the galaxy as the place to end it all? Wouldn’t any old star suffice?
  2. In P. I. Barrington’s “Urban Elf,” is Thraniel dead or alive in his own world?

  3. In Gerald Budinski’s “Sacred Precious Things,” what do you think happens to the autographed baseball, and why?

  4. Is Arthur Vibert’s “The Spare Room” a revenge fantasy seen from the other side? Why do you think Marion chooses to disappear along with the music room?

  5. In Erik Weiss’s “Journey to Exile,” Beorg turns on Mira because he cannot allow a mere woman to rescue him from captivity. What does it tell us about Beorg’s character that he did not refuse to flee with her in the first place?

  6. Why does Bewildering Stories’ restriction on sentimentality not apply to Arnold Hollander’s “Two Red Chairs”?

  7. Can Mel Waldman’s “The House of Darkness” be read as a lament for the death of a myth?

Responses welcome!

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