Word Has It That...
All I know is what I read in the newspapers. — Will Rogers
In Gordon Sun’s Right to Live:
- The setting is a near-future dystopia. What might cause the nearly unlivable conditions? What makes the setting “near future” rather than “medium term” or “far future”?
- In Sue and Danny Miller’s society, what groups have access to health care? Who doesn’t?
In Charles C. Cole’s Beauregard the Beatific:
- In what way does the ending recall the film Cyrano de Bergerac (1950), starring José Ferrer?
- How might Beauregard react at his wedding when he sees that Mitzi is a bridesmaid and that the bride is Angela, who swashbuckles in her wedding gown with a sword and plumed hat?
In Jen Durbent’s Your Walls Can Talk:
- What is the significance of the reference to Mad Magazine?
- Why might Ada’s boyfriend have left her?
- How does the story satirize a possible ill effect of “social” media?
In Arthur Jackson’s The Unexpected Friend:
- At what point does Sky decide that Dr. Brant is telling the truth? Why might Sky accept Dr. Brant as an authority?
- Does Dr. Brant impart any real information other than his name and means of communication? In what way is his message self-contradictory?
- In what way might Sky’s personal life make her susceptible to Dr. Brant’s message of fear?
- Why does Bethany grab the steering wheel?
- At the end, Sky plans to convey Dr. Brant’s message to Amish famers. What is the irony in her doing so?
In Gary Clifton’s The Dragon Slayer’s Helper:
- What is the geography of the story? How many borders must Gilbreath cross in order to return home?
- Does the Dragon Slayer have trouble remembering names or does he really know Gilbreath’s name but refuse to use it? Does the Dragon Slayer himself have a name?
- How do readers know that the Dragon Slayer is actually an incompetent hunter?
- When and why does the Dragon Slayer change his mind and decide to bury the unicorn horn rather than sell it?
- Why did the Dragon Slayer not know of the king’s plan to capture a unicorn for a wedding present? Why might the king have chosen that particular present for his bride?
- Bonus question: How does baldness function for characterization in Gary Clifton’s fiction generally? What would readers infer if the character had some hair and used it as a “comb-over”?
What is a Bewildering Stories Challenge?