Soceity of Speculative Fiction Quiz Show : Gunslinger


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Independence Regional Library’s speculative fiction book club (including fantasy, science fiction, horror) icebreaker quiz show and discussion questions for Stephen Kings’s The Gunslinger, our September 2010 book selection. (.ppt version)

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  • Three stands at the heart of your quest. Another number comes later. Now the number is three. Roland asks which three. The first is a young dar-haired man. He stands on the brink of robbery and murder. A demon has infested him. The name of the demon is HEROIN. She tells him there are other worlds and other demons than the ones he knows. Watch for the doorways. Watch for the roses and the unfound doorways. The second. She comes on wheels. The third. Death but not for you. The man in black is near and you will speak with him soon. They will speak of the Tower. The boy is your gate to the man in black. The man in black is your gate to the three. The three are your way to the Dark Tower.
  • 1st card – The Hanged Man – It signifies strength, not death. The gunslinger is the Hanged Man, plodding ever onward toward your goal over the pits of Na’ar. You’ve already dropped one co-traveler into that pit. 2nd card – The Sailor – The boy Jake. He drowns and no one throws him a line. 3rd card – The Prisoner - A baboon grinning astride a young man’s shoulder – the baboon held a whip. 4th card – The Lady of Shadows - A woman with a shawl over her head sat spinning at a wheel. She was smiling and sobbing at the same time. Does she look two faced? She broke the blue plate. The man in black says not to ask why he is showing him this but to think of it like a pointless ritual that eases you and cools you—like church. 5th card – Death - a grinning reaper clutched a scythe with bony fingers. Not for the gunslinger—someone else. 6th card – The Tower – The tower crossed the Hanged man covering it completely. 7th card – Life - A sun rose in a luminously blue sky. Cupids and sprites sported around it. But not for the gunslinger. The man in black will not reveal where it fits in the pattern, its not for him to know now. Or for the man in black to know.
  • Suppose that all worlds, all universes, met in a single nexus, a single pylon, a Tower. And within it, a stairway, perhaps rising to the Godhead itself? Would you dare climb to the top? Could it be that somewhere above all of endless reality, there exists a Room? The man in black tells Roland --“You dare not.” (I keep thinking of the Matrix where Neo enters room with the Architect and also at the end where he interfaces with the computer brain of the world and changes it forever.)
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