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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 770

Telling a Metastory

  1. In Robin Helweg-Larsen’s Near Future — Same Show:

    1. To whom does the pronoun “they” refer in the course of the poem?
    2. What is the function of the “jack in the back of the neck”?
    3. What “shows” does the poem enumerate? Of what kinds are they?
    4. What is meant by “watching”? What seems to be its effect? What does the poem seem to decry?
  2. In Thomas Sullivan’s And They Were All Saved:

    1. Could the dragon Garrn change itself back into Raymond if it wanted to?
    2. Garrn wonders briefly whether Bookworm and Sword will ask for something other than the dragon’s help. What might Garrn expect?
    3. The narration oscillates between the past and present tenses. Does the verb tense inconsistency achieve any special effect or might the choice of one tense or the other be preferable?
    4. Is Raymond’s story a tragedy due to a tragic flaw or is it a disaster, the result of an accident?
  3. In Lance Dean’s Brain Dead Peep Star Dreams:

    1. At what point in the story does the reader learn the narrator’s name?
    2. Is the point of view shift at the end of the story necessary?
    3. The story oversteps Bewildering Stories’ “Dead Narrators” guideline. How might the logical contradiction be avoided? Is the narrator’s death necessary?
    4. The narrator thinks and talks like a human being but is, physically, a grotesque parody of different types. Is the story a fable? Would the satire be more or less effective if the narrator were fully human?
    5. Is the story about the narrator or Pancorp? How might the historical backstory be conveyed other than by the narrator’s ruminations?
  4. In Shawn Jacobson’s The Man Who Could Only Be Human:

    1. The story is a sequel to “On Memory Lanes” and is evidently a second chapter in a longer work, such as a novel or novella. What might a prefaced synopsis tell the readers?
    2. How many different stories does “The Man Who Could Only Be Human” actually tell?
    3. What is likely to happen in chapter 3, a future sequel?
    4. Are the Spirit People space aliens or are they really humans who have parnormal powers?
    5. What powers do the Spirit People seem to have besides telepathy and telekinesis?
    6. How do normal humans typically react to the Spirit People’s special powers? How else might they react?

Responses welcome!

date Copyright July 23, 2018 by Bewildering Stories
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