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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 479

Consciences at Risk

  1. In Rod Hamon’s “The Intelligence Machine,” does Martin’s character change at the end? Does anything earlier in the story foreshadow the conclusion he draws from his experience?

  2. In Dwane Barr’s “Old Dogs Die Hard”:

    1. Bill, the old man, reminisces occasionally about his youth or at least about an earlier phase of his life. What function does it serve? Is it possible to conclude anything about the events in the old man’s past?
    2. Does anything in the story foreshadow the old man’s apparently paranormal physical ability?
    3. Why does the old man leave town?
    4. What is the “Lincoln County war”?
  3. In Sandra Crook’s “No Secrets Now”:

    1. Is Kevin a repressed romantic or is he a stalker?
    2. At the end, Kevin notices that his mother’s fingernails are dirty. What has she done with Kevin’s purloined memorabilia? How could she have retrieved it in the first place? What does her taking it imply about the true nature of her purported disability?
    3. What kind of relationship does Kevin’s mother propose to have with Kevin? Does he have any hope of escaping the trap his mother has set for him?
  4. In David Barber’s “The Sun-Sculptor, the High-Doctor and the Jirt,” what is the significance of:

    1. “Flesh had much to learn from silicon.”
    2. “You cannot right all wrongs, but you must do what you can.”

  5. Responses welcome!

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