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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 385


  1. In Bill Bowler’s High School Honey:

    1. (Chapter 20) Where is it mentioned earlier that Flea is particularly strong?
    2. (Chapter 21) Is Honey lying when she tells Nick she doesn’t know who the father of her child is? What two things does she accomplish with the admission?
    3. (Chapter 21) What is Greenwich?
    4. (Chapter 21) Imagine an epilogue for Mr. Bloman. Does he become a televangelist? If so, would he be sincere or does he have a potentially tragic flaw that might expose him as a fraud?
    5. Does Nick have any function other than as a kind of demonic presence? Would Honey’s story, in particular, be significantly different without him?
    6. Who is the story about: Honey? Honey and Shirley? Flea and Floater? Or does High School Honey depict a confluence of related stories?
    7. The story is full of dark comedy. What is its effect?
    8. What is the story about? How does the epilogue illustrate a kind of poetic justice, especially for Honey and Shirley? What virtue does Jack Baer have that the other male characters, especially Mr. Bloman and Mr. Loom, do not?
    9. How does the synopsis relate to the story?
  2. In Danielle L. Parker’s “Reaper”:

    1. How does the guide, Teddy Bremner, feel about the zooks?
    2. Does Milton Rutgers serve any purpose other than to provide mild comic relief?
    3. What is the function of Capt. Jim Blunt? Might the colonists be able to discover the nature of the crab monsters without his help or are they unaccountably incurious?
    4. Even a future “wild west” will have future technology. Why don’t the colonists wear helmets or some kind of light armor to protect themselves from ganglions and other predators in the forest?
  3. Julie Wornan’s “The Dead Are Easy to Keep” illustrates that learning other languages can be very important. But could better communication ever overcome the cultural antagonism between the homesteader and the visitors?

  4. In Thomas R.’s “Triumphant Futures”:

    1. Enumerate the targets of political and social satire in the fictional editorial. Which are historical, which are particularly current?
    2. What motive might one suspect the editorial’s putative author to have for removing all women from the “stable” of writers?
    3. Might any of the names in the story seem vaguely familiar?

Responses welcome!

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