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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 472

Check the Numbers

  1. In Javy R. Gwaltney’s “White Room Trials”:

    1. What does Eric Parker’s military status have to do with the experiments?
    2. The experiments force Parker to watch television or play video games. What programs and what games? To what purpose?
    3. Why is the research team disbanded? Why is Murtha sent out of the country and forbidden to come near a journalist?
    4. Is the story a satire? If so, what does it satirize other than television and video games?
  2. In Julie Eberhart Painter’s “Ways Open, Ways Closed”:

    1. The story ends by revealing that Tom has mistaken Melissa for Janet. Is the case of mistaken identity ever cleared up? Does Tom’s misunderstanding seem plausible? Does it have any consequences? Is it necessary to the story?
    2. Melissa responds to Tom’s invitation to call her by saying “I just might do that.” Will she or won’t she? Why might one think she will not?
    3. The story is a study in ambiguity. How many double possibilities does it present? What are they?
  3. In Channie Greenberg’s “Looking Glass: the Costs of Ransoming an Ugly Princess”:

    1. What might the “looking glass” refer to?
    2. Is the poem an allegory? If so, what might it represent?
    3. What is the significance of the hedgehog?

Responses welcome!

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