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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 746

Back Again

  1. In Gary Clifton’s “Take Honor Against a Sea of Troubles”:

    1. Why does Slattery commit suicide? Impulse? To end a long process of self-destruction? What is the meaning of Slattery’s last look at Louise?
    2. Louise tells the sergeant one last lie on behalf of Slattery. In what way is it truthful?
  2. In Edna C. Horning’s “Treasure for the Taking

    1. Was Denis Diderot’s opinion of kings and priests based on considerations of an afterlife or on the socio-political system of the ancien régime in 18th-century France?
    2. Why does Sylvestra contact Leonora rather than go directly to Stefan?
    3. Even if Leonora has seen a photo of Sylvestra, why is her report nonetheless credible? Prof. Rappaport says human beings can be duplicated by machines and artificial intelligence. What intellectual faculty do he and machines seem to lack?
    4. Is Sylvestra the only one ever to come back from the “undiscovered country, from whose bourne no traveler returns”? Is a prior contract necessary, like the one she proposes to Stefan?
  3. In Bill Kowaleski’s “To Inferno and Back”:

    1. Do Dan Turley and the other “spirits” go to a Dentesque inferno, or do they go to Purgatory, i.e. a kind of re-education camp?
    2. What is the difference between time on earth versus time in Heaven and the various Hells? What would Dan Turley find on earth if he “reincarnated” out of Heaven?
    3. What kind of Hell would be prescribed for a full-fledged sociopath? Pick your own examples.
    4. In light of the truism that “life is problems,” the dead don’t have any problems. What’s the point of spending eternity in unchanging awareness? What does the question imply in terms of cosmology and theology?
    5. What does Eve mean in terms of an outlook on reality? What traditions might agree with her?
  4. In Ásgrímur Hartmannsson’s “Blood Ritual”:

    1. Where does the killer robot get its checklist for fascist tendencies?
    2. Does the robot’s checklist describe fascism or some other political tendency?
    3. What might make the robot realize that its checklist is faulty and that it might apply to a country other than the one in which the robot is operating?
    4. When the robot appears at the door of a prospective victim, would the robot be neat and clean, or would it be covered with bits of blood & gore?

Responses welcome!

date Copyright January 22, 2018 by Bewildering Stories
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