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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 866

6° K.

  1. In Natan Dubovitsky’s Near Zero Chapter 29, Yegor explains to Igor what “near zero” means.

    1. How might Yegor’s perception explain the missions to Mars and one of the objectives of astronomy?
    2. What negative consequences can the perception of “near zero” have in terms of philosophy and society? On what grounds does Yegor reject that philosophy, and what does he embrace?
  2. In John Mara’s Digging Up the Past, is Pearl Buford “reconciled” or avenged?

  3. In Richard Ong’s Rocket Girl: Where might the “Rocket Girl” be standing? And what might the papers be that are fluttering from her briefcase?

  4. In K. A. Williams’ First Day Back:

    1. Why does Marilyn’s boss stage an elaborate deception by having an android dancer appear to lose her balance? Why not introduce the “Harold” android to Marilyn directly, without pretense?
    2. The “Harold” android needs to be “monitored,” i.e. trained. And yet he is an acceptable replacement for the real Harold. What does that imply about real husbands?
    3. In what way does “First Day Back” reiterate the story of Victor Frankenstein and his monster?
  5. In Evelyn M. Lewis’s A Solipsist’s Country:

    1. Does Benjamin’s removing his shoes upon entering Isaac’s home have any dramatic function?
    2. What is the function of Isaac’s killing a dog slowly and then virtually killing Benjamin with a sword, thereby throwing him out of the “game”?
    3. How does Isaac react to the news that his real-world body is dying? Does his physical condition seem to have any effect on his mental processes?
    4. What would happen to Isaac’s virtual reality game if he actually died? Would it disappear, or would he continue a virtual life in it as a ghost?
    5. What does the story imply about the nature and effects of malignant narcissism?

Responses welcome!

date Copyright © August 3, 2020 by Bewildering Stories
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