Department header
Bewildering Stories

Challenge 536

Zombie Jamboree

  1. In Eric Otto’s “The Next Fifties,” what is going to cause “the sorrow that shakes”?

  2. In Kelly Haas Shackelford’s “The Demon, the Witch, and the Pumpkin,” is the story a vignette or a short story? If a vignette, what might the larger story be?

  3. In Don Webb’s “Speedways to Literary Oblivion”:

    1. What is Zombo referring to when he says that he and Zomba will give the author a piece of their minds about participles?
    2. Zombo and Zomba critique certain stylistic infelicities in the story. What others might they lambast?
  4. In Ross Smeltzer’s “The Landscape,” the two painters agree that their objective is to capture pure Nature in its essential character and temperament:

    1. If Gérard had seen the painting in which Théon Rousseau claims he caught the image of Nature, would Gérard have seen the same thing as Rousseau?
    2. Théon calls Gérard a “Romantic.” In what way is the term correct?
  5. In Oonah V. Joslin’s “Altercation at Supper”:

    1. What is the difference between a human being eating a chicken and a hawk eating prey?
    2. How might a poem establish a similarity between the blackbirds and a human family?
  6. In Colin W. Campbell’s, “Playing Chess With an Alien”:

    1. Why might a highly rated chess player like Gregor not want to play a casual game against an amateur? Hint: What does he gain if he wins? What might happen if he loses?
    2. In what ways does the stranger distract Gregor and cause him to underestimate her?
    3. Is Gregor or the stranger in a position similar to that of the space aliens?
  7. In Owen Traylor’s “Lie Pill, Death Pill”:

    1. What is the function of the Russian oligarch and Jeremy’s boss?
    2. Whom does Jeremy’s father trust with his life?
    3. Does Great Britain have an extradition treaty with Brazil? Why does Jeremy’s father not simply abscond with whatever money he has left? Or declare bankruptcy?
    4. Does a reader need to know the plot of the film The Matrix in order to understand the story? Would the story remain intact if the allusion were omitted?
    5. For what reason does Jeremy withhold the blue pill? Do you think he’s justified in doing so?
    6. Jeremy’s father does not intend to commit suicide; he plans to fake a natural death. Disregard the plausibility or implausibility of the scheme: is Jeremy guilty of murder?

Responses welcome!

Copyright © 2013 by Bewildering Stories
What is a Bewildering Stories Challenge?

Home Page