Bewildering Stories

Challenge 78

“Live Long, and Prosper”

  1. To borrow Star Trek’s Vulcan salutation. In Thomas R.’s alternate-history article, “Anti-Geria,” we have biographies of two extremely long-lived, “semi-immortal” people, N!Agau! and Suiko Fujiwara. Both are born in vastly different places and times and do quite different things, of course. In what ways are their careers similar?

  2. If that’s too hard, write a flash fiction with the setting, situation and characters of Ásgrímur Hartmannsson’s “Good Question.” Only, change the point of contention from the manner of execution to the nature of the prisoner’s last meal. (If you read the Readers’ Guide, you saw that one coming.)

  3. Tala Bar’s Ya’el concludes with the double symbol of the cave and the garden:

    “You see this garden? It is beautiful, isn’t it? And the cave was awful, horrifying. These are two sides of the same thing: the same life, being both beautiful and horrifying. Come, you’ll have plenty of time to think and talk about it...

    Okay, let’s think and talk about it:

    1. Is “Oshrat” any relation to the historical goddess Ishtar?
    2. What do you think: is the society of Oshrat more “garden” than “cave”?
    3. Turn the point of view of the story around: what does it imply concerning the role of men in society? And how would you characterize the male characters in the story?

Please send us your ideas!

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