Fulfillment First, Prophecy Later
In Sandra Crook’s “Counting the Minutes,” in the blockquoted section: is Uncle Joe’s niece thinking of someone else or is she imagining Uncle Joe thinking about her? Does it matter?
In Martin Hill Ortiz’ “An Incurable Insomnia”:
- What does the character named “God” think, feel and do in the poem?
- If “God” is interpreted as being a deity, what kind is it? What is it like?
- In a tragedy such as the poem alludes to, the question sometimes arises: “Where was God?” What is the logical answer? Put another way: What if the poem is not about God at all? Who is it about, then?
In Ron Van Sweringen’s “Summer, 1952”:
- What actually happens in this memoir? Is any part of the action unbelievable?
- Is any part of the historical setting implausible even if the actions of that day cannot be confirmed by disinterested eyewitnesses?
- How old is the author in the year 2011? Does the account gain or lose by the memoirist’s taking a biographical and historical perspective?
In Derek Frazier’s “Vapor Rising”:
- How does “Vapor Rising” differ in terms of cause and effect from Luke’s account of the Annunciation?
- Does Vapor Rising have a reason to do and say to Miryam what he does?
- Vapor Rising may be immortal, but is he omniscient? Is he omnipotent? What elements of parody and satire appear in the story?
- What does the title represent? Is it an anagram, or is it some other arcane reference?
In Artie Knapp’s “Light on a Snowy Day”:
- The author has published widely in children’s literature on different topics. At the end, Maggie says “Light on a Snowy Day” is a Christmas-present story. Is it one essentially or incidentally?
- Does Mr. Dotson give Maggie a chance to say goodbye to the deer before he releases it?
- What lesson does the story hold for Maggie and a children’s audience generally besides the place of wild animals and people?
In Phillip Donnelly’s Kev the Vampire:
- Does the story reach a conclusion or does it simply stop?
- In what way might Kev the Vampire resemble Adalbert von Chamisso’s Peter Schlemiehl?
In Danielle L. Parker’s “Tower of Sighs”:
- Why does Kzirth need to recruit Blunt to infiltrate the Tower of Sighs?
Does Blunt fulfill his mission to liberate Vilth from the prison?
Blunt refers to a “first mortgage.” It is the bomb that was implanted in him at the end of a previous story, “Death King.” Blunt has decided against disabling it — thereby risking harm to innocent bystanders — for reasons that are clear to himself alone. How might “Tower of Sighs” have a less esoteric ending?
Bonus question: What works in this issue account for the title of this Challenge? And how do they do so?
Copyright © 2011 by Bewildering Stories
What is a Bewildering Stories Challenge?