Department header
Bewildering Stories

Challenge 309

Hold Your Fire

  1. In Eric Watts’ “Friendly Fire,” how many things happen to Jason that are out of his control? The story is set against the backdrop of the Iraq War, but is the story anti-war or more an account of existential despair?

  2. Chapters 29-31 of Michael E. Lloyd’s Observation Three form a kind of pastoral interlude leading up to the concluding chapters. Without peeking at the end, what kind of ending would you write to the novel? Which previous novels in the Observation series do Janis Ian’s songs and Dublin recall, respectively?

  3. The danger in writing horror fiction lies in inadvertently overstepping the line that separates it from comedy. Do you read Robert A. Dollesin’s “Spoons” as comic or horror fiction? Or both at once?

  4. Is Lee Gimenez’ “We the People” a story or a vignette? If it’s a story, what is the conclusion? If it’s a vignette, what might the larger story be?

  5. Carol A. Cole’s “Time for the Tide” has been previously published elsewhere under the title “Lunar Justice.” Why might Bewildering Stories have preferred the title we use? Do you think it’s more or less accurate? Or does it make no difference?

  6. Is L. Roger Quilter’s “People Are Weird” a fable? Is the story comic?

  7. In S. H. Linden’s “A Stacked Deck,” when Faust is about to leave China Chong, he stops to speak to Roberto Fong. What would happen to the plot if Faust did not notice Fong or did not act on impulse?

    Does Faust make a concession to Fong about his retainer fee, or is he weak in arithmetic?

    Does assassinating Faust seem so difficult that it justifies springing Tony Janeway from prison and spending a lot of money? Why doesn’t Ticky Snyder himself simply shoot Faust from the cover of the darkened store front?

  8. In mystery stories, especially, the author is expected to misdirect the reader; but misleading the reader is unfair. What might readers object to as misleading in Bertil Falk’s “The Color of Disappearance”?

Responses welcome!

Copyright © 2008 by Bewildering Stories
What is a Bewildering Stories Challenge?

Home Page