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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 269

Moonset, Moonrise

  1. Claës Lundin never tires of satirizing the news media in Oxygen and Aromasia.
    1. How does he also satirize the public in “The Lovers Arrive”?
    2. What satire can be found in the setting in “The Chemist’s Laboratory”?
    3. How does the banquet turn into a farce in “Now You See It, Now You Don’t”?
    4. Why might Oxygen’s use of diaphot turn out to be a Very Bad Idea?
    5. How does the discovery of diaphot in “Divergent Paths” create irony of action?
  2. In what way might Joe Farinelli and his partner Jack Webb be alike in Robert H. Prestridge’s “Abandon”?

  3. Elliot R. Dorfman’s “No Other Choice”:

    1. “Ron Glass” is also the name of a televison and film actor. Why might we wonder whether the name is a coincidence or an in-joke?
    2. At one point, Ron says to Grace: “Say, how about stopping this third degree? You’re making me feel uncomfortable.” Now, “third degree” is anachronistic slang, and it’s a little rude in its context. Is the usage in Ron’s character or is it justified in some other way?
    3. How might Grace seduce Ron rather than throw herself at him? Might the cultural anachronism serve a purpose, such as tipping off both Ron and the reader that the whole scenario is a fake?
    4. How many Twilight Zone episodes might this story make? Could a similar story be written without the space aliens?
  4. Why might Andrew Drilon’s “Peekli” have the title it does? What does the search for the lost goat tell us about Sunriser?

  5. At what point in Beverly Forehand’s “The Dragon’s Tale” does the ending cease to be a surprise? Is what follows really an anticlimax? What does the futility of the dragon quest symbolize?

  6. In Wayne C. Peake’s “The Devil’s Pen”:

    1. Can the pen be used for other purposes than evil?
    2. What does William Hargrove’s parting admonition tell us about his character?
    3. What historical anachronisms occur in “The Devil’s Pen”?
  7. Flash fiction, especially, often dramatizes an effect for which the cause is implied, assumed, or left up to the reader. What might be the “larger story” in Carol Reid’s “Blackbird”?

  8. How is a dynamic tension maintained in each stanza of John Stocks’ “Night Sky”?

  9. What is the central metaphor in Mary B. McArdle’s “Moon Storm”?

  10. What is Mel Waldman’s “Nazi Patient”? What difference does sixty years make?

  11. Humor aside, what important philosophical questions are raised in Philosophy and Your Pet”?

Responses welcome!

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