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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 703

Don’t Eat My Fins

  1. In Karin S. Heigl’s “Frazzled — Zerfetzt,” what other word than “Frazzled” would you recommend as a title?

  2. In Denny Marshall’s “Paliens,” the poem refers to ancient alien contact with Earthly vegetation. What might be the consequence? What might be “the right moment”?

  3. In Bill Kowaleski’s “The King of North America,” does Jackson Bain actually proclaim himself “king”? What historical precedents can you cite for political figures who made themselves dictators “in the interests of national security”?

  4. In Gary Clifton’s “Alien Medical Captives,” the story is about science fiction but is not itself science fiction. What is it? How might it be made a science-fiction story? Hint: Consider the Challenge title.

  5. In Cindy O’Quinn’s Loss of Control”:

    1. Might the prologue better serve as an epilogue?
    2. What is the difference between Becky’s and Gerald’s relationships with their respective partners? What does Gerald do that Becky does not do? What concerns does Becky have that Gerald does not?
    3. To be “on the bloody side” is not an expression commonly used in English. What does it mean? How likely would any character be to use it? What might they be more likely to say or do?
  6. In Robert Stephenson’s “A Battleground Muse”:

    1. Have the Earthlings not tried using chemical weapons against the Clakkers? Why might chemicals not be effective?
    2. The Clakkers appear to be insect-like. What details show that they are not only sentient but intelligent, although less technologically advanced than the Earthlings?
    3. What kind of war are the Earthlings waging: defensive or offensive? Are they winning or losing?
    4. Is the Observer required to return actual news reports or propaganda? Are the authorities well-informed? What Earthly war or wars does her experience reflect?
    5. Why is it important the Observer’s private diary reflect intimate personal feelings? Why would any other alternative be unsatisfactory and unconvincing?

Responses welcome!

date Copyright February 20, 2017 by Bewildering Stories
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