The Laundry on the List
In Charles C. Cole’s Murder in New Eden:
- What previous attacks does Delumbria appear to have made against the “topsiders”? Why have they failed? How did the kidnapping of Lucy Nakamura succeed?
- What threat does Delumbria make against Lucy? What response can the reader expect the topsiders to make?
- What kind of revolution does Delumbria propose? Would he really change anything?
- How does New Eden keep the population under control? How does Lucy inadvertently confirm the disadvantage of a “city in space”?
- How might the reader expect the conflict to end in the concluding chapter?
In Janel Brubaker’s The Cavern of Serpents:
- How would Sigmund Freud interpret the snakes in chapter 3? What does the word Schlange mean in German slang? Might Dr. Freud have derived a different symbology if he had spoken English? What is the feminist critique of Freud’s view? Is it borne out in chapter 3?
- In chapter 4, what, exactly, causes Medusa’s or Python’s estrangement from Phoebe?
In L. S. Popovich’s Hey, You:
- How would the animals react in a real slaughterhouse?
- What is the symbolic function of the cigarette?
- Why does Maximilian reject the nickname “Max”?
- What is the difference between the catastrophe that befell Maximilian’s family and the one that the Pig families face?
- In the end, who eats whom?
In Margaret Rumford’s At the Tillicoultrie Inn:
- What might inspire Euan’s initial attraction to Dorrie? How might he have seen Dorrie on television without watching a daytime program?
- Is Dorrie really a klutz? How does her style differ from that of the other chefs?
- Why are the goats necessary to the plot?
- Is the Spanish diner’s death necessary? How does the insertion of a tragic episode affect the comedy?
In Hannah Spencer’s The Lady Under the Lake:
- How might readers foresee that Arthur will misinterpret his premonition of drowning?
- Everyone who drowns in the lake is male. Why must the water nymph be female?
- Disregard the evil spirit. What really accounts for the drownings?
In Reina Cruz’s Sombrerón:
- Why does the sombrerón want Magdalena’s hair in the first place?
- Will the ghostly figure return after Magdalena’s hair grows back?
- Is the story actually a vignette? If it’s a story, what might the moral be?
In Robin Helweg-Larsen’s Warfare:
- What kind of deity does the poem presume? An interventionist? A Prime Mover? A teacher? A clockmaker? An irrelevant spectator? Some other?
- Does the poem list war profiteering as a common human activity?
- How might the poem be read a parody? As a satire? Or is it simply moralistic?
What is a Bewildering Stories Challenge?