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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 476

Purple Toenails

  1. In Maria Kontak’s “A Very Convenient Affair”:

    1. How long after 1975 does the story take place?
    2. Why does Ellie go back to Moscow?
    3. Why does Grisha hate Ellie?
    4. What is the significance of the recurrent references to War and Peace?
  2. In Rebecca Lu Kiernan’s “What the Dog Saw”: How does the poem continue or conclude “Dogbye”?

  3. In Chris Castle’s “Violet Cigarettes”:

    1. What are the two key symptoms of the “end of the world”?
    2. Despite Mr. Bingham’s precautions, how do we know that at the end he and Petra are not safe?
    3. What is the significance of the contrast between Petra and the world-end havoc in the streets?
    4. Is there any sign that Mr. Bingham himself has been affected?
    5. What kind of new society might be formed by nude mind-readers?
  4. In Angel Zapata’s “Carrion Folk”: Why does Momma call her husband?

Responses welcome!

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