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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 698

Your Place and Time

  1. All the prose — including Bertil Falk’s excerpt — and two of the poems in issue 698 depict or imply heroes who are or were in the right place at the right time. Our Classic Reissue review of Ward Moore’s Bring the Jubille points out that the hero — who hardly is one — finds himself at the right place at the wrong time, namely a time that is not his own. And yet it turns out to be the “right” time for everyone else:

    1. Aside from the alternate history, what is Ward Moore telling us about ourselves in our respective times and places?
    2. What does the novel seem to imply about the nature of progress and justice?
    3. Bonus question: How does the poem “The Glass Jar Present” exemplify the lesson of Moore’s alternate history?
  2. In Shola Balogun’s “When a Poet Dies”:

    1. The verb “con” is used in an archaic sense. What does it mean?
    2. Need a poet be literally dead or merely absent for the process described in the poem to take place?
    3. What is the process? What goes into making a “masterpiece” in addition to writing?
    4. How does the poem illustrate our article “Who’s Your Audience?”
  3. In Ed Kyatt’s “What Good Is Arithmetic?

    1. Why is Madame Bernard always referred to with the honorific “Madame”?
    2. What is the moral of the story? Arithmetic is a good thing? If so, why is it a good thing?
    3. What is the effect of André’s meeting Madame Bernard in a war zone, where she is mortally wounded? What is the function of the setting?
    4. How does Madame Bernard review arithmetic with André? What will André remember: the arithmetic or the way she taught it?
  4. In Nick Pipitone’s “City of Dogs”:

    1. How does the author depict the characters? What information do we have, and how is it imparted?
    2. The story contains a great deal of motion. How is it described?
    3. Does the story reach a conclusion? Does it end on a note of despair or is there some hope left?
  5. In Harry Lang’s “Down to the Wild Blue Yonder”:

    1. How might Capt. Richard Mako’s name fit his personality?
    2. Captain Hovis says of Chief Dunn, “I guess she finally made a mistake.” What “mistake” is Hovis referring to?
    3. Does Mako finally realize what has transpired? What does he say to indicate that, despite the reader’s expectations, he realizes its significance?
  6. In Denny Marshall’s “Story of the Stars”:

    1. What is the verse form of the poem?
    2. How might the “deep night sky” seem to communicate “voices from history and present”?
  7. In Douglas Young’s “Oh, If I Would Have...

    1. To what audience does the poem seem to be addressed?
    2. Why might the poet emphasize sports metaphors?

Responses welcome!

date Copyright January 16, 2017 by Bewildering Stories
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