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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 359

As Time Went By

  1. In Barbra Annino’s “The Mother Road,” how are Rosie and Nick’s mother alike?

  2. In Catfish Russ’s “The Governor of Earth”:

    1. Algeria and Indochina were French colonies for more than a century or many decades longer than ten and fifteen years, respectively. What do the short time periods cited in the conclusion really refer to?

    2. What former and current TV series use the same premise as “The Governor of Earth”? How does the premise of invasion from outer space differ from that of conflict between human beings?

    3. Human beings are obsessively territorial. What animals are not, or are less so? How might a story be written about contact with aliens who are the mirror image of human beings, i.e. non-territorial?

    4. (cf. also the Challenge 359 Response)

  3. Crystalwizard’s “I Know You” ends “You’re not who I want to see.” If you could trade places and personalities with anyone else, who would it be? Is it possible even to imagine doing such a thing?

  4. In Keven Ahearn’s “The End of an Erica”:

    1. What does Erica do that makes the narrator realize he is old?
    2. What practical advice does the author give to aspiring writers?
    3. How does the story bear out one of Bewildering Stories’ unofficial mottoes, “There is no story so truly bewildering as reality”?
  5. In Daniel Shebses’ “The Deathalator”:

    1. Goldie is purportedly a goldfish. Why might readers believe that Devlin is mistaken about the nature of his pet and think that the fish is actually a piranha?
    2. The “Goldie” incident is farcical. Does the story continue as comedy or as something else?
    3. What does the character Mike Devlin actually do in the story? What initiatives do other characters take?
  6. At the end of Clarise Samuels’ “The Duke of Wunderbar,” the ‘Duke’ makes a life-changing decision and then relaxes with an espresso and a newspaper. Do his priorities seem a little odd? What else might you have expected him to do?

Responses welcome!

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