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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 418

Doomed to Repeat It

  1. Tamara Podella’s “Nightmare Jack” might appear to be a vampire story, judging by the family and its history. But the word “vampire” never appears. Change “blood” to “whisky”; what kind of horror story does “Nightmare Jack” become?

  2. In Gary Inbinder’s “Mr. Nemo and the Dead Bird,” must the reader be familiar with all the classical and popular literary works the characters mention in order to understand their conversation or does the discussion stand on its own with the allusions serving as verbal footnotes of a sort?

  3. In Gary Hewitt’s “House of Six,” does “magnum” refer to a pistol or to a big bottle of champagne?

  4. In Danielle L. Parker’s “Death King,” is the name of the demolition man Sam or Bert?

  5. In Salvatore Buttaci’s “Quite a Catch,” space aliens go fishing, so to speak, for samples of ‘intelligent life’ on Earth and return with a single specimen. In view of the highly implausible conditions and the equally high probability of ‘catching’ a counter-example, why might one conclude that the space aliens themselves are a ton of bricks short of a full load?

  6. Issues 417 and 418 have, coincidentally, four submissions on a topic that will not go away — the Third Reich:

    1. In what way is “Quite a Catch” more pessimistic than “Valkyrie of the Apes”?

    2. In “An Afternoon at Buchenwald,” what details make the account ring true? Why did Richard Daughtry forget the “Killing Room” for so long?

    3. Those who deny the Holocaust are really saying they want to repeat it. Some may choose new victims of convenience. Who, in our time, has ignored the lesson of history? Caution: difference in degree does not constitute difference in kind.

Responses welcome!

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