Clean Up or Clear Out
In Shola Balogun’s “In Rwanda”:
- Why does the name of Rwanda supply sufficient context for the reader to understand the poem?
- Bonus question: How does the poem confirm General Roméo Dallaire’s account, Shake Hands with the Devil?
In Douglas Young’s “I’ll Listen to Bach,” why does the narrator “listen to Bach”? is anything gained from listening other than insulation from what the narrator sees as enemies and insoluble problems?
In Will Shadbolt’s “Sandcastles”:
- The narrator tells Max of his and Alison’s fantasy games. Why does Max hide his interest from Alison?
- “[Alison] didn’t see [Max’s] calculated smirk falter, nor his eyes go glassy and distant, as if in thought.” What might Max be thinking? Does the incident have any consequence?
In Gary Clifton’s “The Del Rio Crossing”:
- How does Brannigan treat his horse and dog? Why does he exchange horses in Del Rio?
- What makes it possible for Brannigan to travel at night?
- Do the murders from some months earlier come as “late news”? Is there any early clue that Doc Hardy — or anyone other than Silva — might be a suspect in the recent massacre?
In Bill Kowaleski’s “Joliet Enclave”:
- Might the Committee have more than a political interest in moving out of its headquarters?
- Bonus question: Marco tells Mira that the name of the author of the Hayek Manifesto is an inside joke that has long been forgotten. What might the joke be?
In Richard Murray’s “Troubled Times”:
- What kind of name is “Mieko”?
- Mieko says he experienced the murder that Jack, the narratror, committed on his, Mieko’s, alternate self. Is Mieko’s story plausible?
- Does Mieko really need Jack? And can Mieko trust him? When Mieko returns to confront Jack, what armament would you expect Mieko to be carrying?
- How does the story prove that time machines are dramatic — not mechanical — devices?
- What might lead readers to infer that the story is a satire of time-travel fiction? Does the story do for time travel what Isaac Asimov’s The End of Eternity does in novel form?
What is a Bewildering Stories Challenge?