Department header
Bewildering Stories

Challenge 362

As In the Beginning

  1. In John Stocks’ “Iona”:

    1. The island of Iona has been inhabited since the Bronze Age or earlier. What eras are referenced by the historical allusions in the first two stanzas?

    2. What historical circumstance makes the reference to a “pious monk” of particular importance?

    3. The poem begins “There would always have been beauty” and ends with “There will always be beauty.” What does “would have been” and “will be” say about the nature of beauty itself?

    4. Judging by the objects of all of John Stocks’ poems, does “Iona” depart from or epitomize the poet’s world view?

  2. In what way can Marta T. Coppola’s “World Round Grape” be seen as complementary in theme and scope to John Stocks’ “Iona”?

  3. In Bertil Falk’s “The Loser Is the Winner”:

    1. What does the title mean in terms of the story?

    2. Sanjay engages in a somewhat morbid “game” as a pastime. What might motivate it?

    3. Aside from Sanjay’s prematurely discounting the bus driver in his game, how does his relationship with her differ from the one he has with all the other passengers he observes?

  4. In Channie Greenberg’s “Betting on the Outfield,” is the alien invasion real or a TV show?

  5. Is Alexander Salas’ “Dream Cannibal” a story, a vignette, or a sketch? In any case, the most interesting character is the mother. How does she try to ensure Ricardo’s obedience? What moral is implied about the nature of her admonition concerning the “dream cannibal”?

  6. Ron Van Sweringen’s “The Worm Bed” is a joke at the expense of Parker Jones. Why is Parker foolish to assume Mavis’ eyeball is real?

Responses welcome!

Copyright © 2009 by Bewildering Stories
What is a Bewildering Stories Challenge?

Home Page