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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 709

Heed the Bark

  1. In Simon Williams’ “The Gentle Decay of the Past,” which is more important: that the mysterious book is incomprehensible or that the narrator tries to understand it?

  2. In Raluca Balasa’s “The First Kill,” transpose the fantasy into human terms. What is the story really telling us?

  3. In Gary Beck’s “Prisoners Are Entitled,” who are the prisoners, and what are they entitled to?

  4. In Stephen Ellams’ “Sylvia”:

    1. Why might the technical term “strigine” be more appropriate in its context than the common expression “owl-like”?
    2. The poem expresses a wish that is quite generous, but even if it were granted, could it be fulfilled?
  5. In Patrick Doerksen’s “There Will Be No Puppy”:

    1. What is Harriet’s function in the story? Is she Jensen’s alter ego?
    2. What might the dog’s barking signal to anyone who approaches?
    3. Why does Jensen decide not to listen to the poetry-reading man?
    4. What do we learn about Olivia from her wanting a puppy that can never grow up?
    5. Is Jensen’s conclusion, “There will be no puppy,” a prediction or a decision?

Responses welcome!

date Copyright April 10, 2017 by Bewildering Stories
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