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1. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Kolby Granville

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2. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Kim Z. Dale

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Besides “being in love” and procreation, what is the purpose/function of a spouse? In this work of ethical marriage fiction, Sherry’s husband knows too much about her inner thoughts, specifically, that the barista at the local coffee shop is attractive. When Sherry talks to her neighbor, they piece together that she was unknowingly given a M.I.N.D. implant, allowing her husband to read her thoughts. She confronts him and he argues communication is hard, and this makes it easier. Additionally, if she has nothing to hide, then why does she care? In response, she gets a “mind vault” installed, a place to store thoughts and memories from her husband. He finds out, and goes to even more extreme measures to make Sherry compliant.
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3. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Paul Brownsey

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To what extent is the person who triggers a downward spiral, as opposed to the surrounding situations that make it likely, responsible? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, an aged Jaime gets a letter from Fred, asking him to come visit before his pending death. Decades earlier Jaime courted a shy Fred at the local pool, where, after many months, they started Fred’s first homosexual relationship. After the relationship ended, Fred starting drinking more often. Years later, after decades of drinking and a divorce from his wife, he is dying. Jaime goes to visit him, but it’s too late, he is already dead. Jaime is left to wonder, to what extent was he the trigger for this downward spiral?
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4. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Sue Mitchell

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What ethical obligations does a buyer have to make a seller that is aware of the true value of the thing they are selling? In this work of philosophical contract law short story fiction, Mel, a long-time customer of Kathy’s, enters Kathy’s shop on one of the last days before she closes the shop down to retire. While in the shop Mel spots a rare, and very valuable brooch. Kathy clearly doesn’t understand its value and opts to give it to Mel as a parting gift. Mel insists on paying, but Kathy refuses and Mel leaves with the brooch. Mel then takes the brooch to a specialist and sells it for $35,000, but is left wondering if she owes Kathy and of the money from the windfall?
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5. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Cliff Aliperti

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Is there anything wrong with having a nearly perfect life with a world that seems to revolve around your needs? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, Jerry feels special; like the world revolves around him and meeting his needs. And his life story tends to support this. His entire life is trouble free, no economic issues, no family issues, and an early retirement. An entire life of ease. His college professor tells him he’s a solipsist, but he believes he’s just a sociopath. It hard matters. Sure, he tends to believe that those around him cease to exist when they are not around him, but that’s normal, right? Life is wonderful, without change, focused on himself, forever.
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6. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Olga Pavlinova Olenich

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What is the essence of heaven? If you had to pick a single moment in your life to spend eternity in as your personal heaven, would you do it, and what moment would you pick? In this philosophical short story fiction, the narrator, in a semi-dream state, watches a bit of a late-night movie where the main character dies, goes to heaven, and must work with the bureaucrats of heaven to pick the moment in their lives they would like to live in forever as their personal heaven. This idea germinates in the narrator’s mind and she is forced to weight various moments in her life in an attempt to pick what her perfect heavenly moment would be.
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7. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Ville V. Kokko

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If you know God exists, have actual proof, do you still have “faith?” In this work of philosophical short fiction, William gets a strange messages and heads over to visit his friend Thomas, who explains God came to him in a dream. Moreover, God left him proof of his existence, a floating object on a pedestal that, according to Thomas, defies all laws of physics. Thomas declares this floating object a miracle, William is less sure. Thomas says he took it to the local University to investigate and they were unable to find a cause to the floating object. Assuming, Thomas says, the floating object is a miracle, does that mean all of religion is true? Is there a heaven and hell, a God that commands, and absolute right and wrong? After additional discussion, William is interested, but still unsure. Note: This story is a part of our legacy-of-excellence program. It was first printed in After Dinner Conversation - November, 2020 issue.
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8. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Abra Staffin-Wiebe

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Is the desire to find purpose paramount to culture? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, a priest from earth is sent to another planet to continuing the mission work of his predecessor. The planet is inhabited by “teddies” a people with a deep spiritual faith and a belief that it is only by finding and performing one’s life purpose can they serve God’s role. Those that are unable to find their purpose are willingly put to death so that, according to their belief system, they can be reincarnated and make a new attempt at finding their purpose. The visiting human religious leader is appalled by this religious belief, and the religious culture. He goes against the community by helping those that a poor and hungry.Note; This story is a part of our legacy-of-excellence program. It was first printed in After Dinner Conversation - December, 2020 issue.
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9. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2

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10. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2

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11. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Kolby Granville

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12. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Bethany Bruno

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Can a marriage be irrevocably broken before it even begins? In this work of marriage related ethical fiction, the story starts with the narrator holding uprooted azaleas in his hands, with a shotgun pointed at him. His wife and child watch from the upstairs widow of the house behind him. In the moments before his end, he recounts the story of their marriage and its failure; his wife’s father giving him an antique pocket watch on their wedding day, and accusations from that same father, shortly thereafter, of infidelity. He recalls the birth of their child as well as the death of his wife’s father. And finally, he recalls the infidelity and fights that lead to the narrator moving into the arms of his co-worker mistress. Everything has gone wrong and none of it, at least according to the narrator, is his fault.
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13. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Todd Sullivan

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Is the purpose of all art to help us see a bit of the eternal? What might you learn about yourself if you saw a transformative piece of art? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, Ro’sed is a journalist sent to interview of the eclectic restaurant, “One Hour.” He meets the owner who offers to cook him a dish while they do the interview. Over the course of the strange hour the owner talks about his philosophy and history with food, and with art, and his belief that “art is man’s attempt to imitate god.” The owner has no partner, no children, and few friends; he doesn’t even have a dog. He has dedicated himself to cooking and learning what is possible when you pour your entire being into an artistic endeavor for a lifetime. Of course, the food he cooks for Ro’sed is amazing, and the experience transports him to his own childhood and his dreams of being a great fiction writer. He wonders why he has compromised on his life and questions why he was unwilling to purpose the focused artistic excellence the restaurant owner has found.
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14. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Cory Swanson

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Would you rather have youth, or power and money? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, a 20-something software engineer, after an extensive physical exam, is brought into meet the elderly head of the mega-corporation he works for. The wheelchair bound owner makes him an offer; they will switch bodies. The wealthy tycoon gets the young man’s body, and nothing else, while the young man gets the old man’s body and all the wealth and power that comes with it in the remaining years. The young software engineer has a sister in need of money medical expenses, and he thinks of all the good he could do. He accepts the offer and they switch bodies. The young man almost immediately regrets his decision.
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15. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
C. S. Griffel

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What would you do if you were responsible for following orders, and giving the command to start World War III? In this work of cold-war-era philosophical short story fiction, Comrade Lt. Colonel Petrov is at work on his day off. He is in charge of the USSR’s most cutting-edge satellite monitoring system when an alarm sounds that five nuclear missiles are on their way from the US to the USSR. The call comes from command to confirm the launch. While everyone at his station sees the missiles, he refuses to confirm the launch has occurred. Why five missiles? Wouldn’t a launch against the USSR be massive? It just doesn’t make sense. Petrov refuses to report what the screens clearly show and, it turns out, prevents a retaliatory strike based on incorrect information. He goes home to his wife, unable to tell her how his top secret day went.
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16. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Jacqueline Parker

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Is the time we spend with family ever a trivial pursuit? Is is okay to lie to your children to keep them innocence and happiness? In this philosophical short story fiction, the narrator’s daughter finds a few ants wandering around the kitchen. The narrator innocently tells his daughter “all life is precious.” She immediately takes this to heart and starts encouraging the ants to come into their house with food. The narrator’s wife is not happy about the ants that have taken over the house. The narrator, a teacher currently teaching Our Town to his class asks them for their advice. They suggest an ant farm for their daughter, and a white lie to his daughter about the ants leaving as he kills the remainder with poison. He does this, but his daughter finds the traps and the trail of dead ants.
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17. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Richard A. Shury

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To what extent should medical AI make life-and-death decisions? In this work of philosophical medical/AI short fiction, a group of young boys are out for a birthday. They are all drinking and, inevitably, get into a serious car crash as they plummet off the side of a bridge. The car automatically signals the accident and emergency medical drones and ambulance are immediately deployed to the wreck. There is limited time the medical drones must choose. Some of the boys live, some die. The deciding factored turned out to be that the drones are programmed to prioritize saving the lives of minors over adults. The boy who died, the one who has the birthday they were celebrating. Note: this story is a part of our legacy-of-excellence program. It was first published in the November 2020 issue of After Dinner Conversation.
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18. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Geoffrey Hart

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What are positive externalities, and what role does someone have to provide a person, not with what they want, but what they need? In this work of philosophical short fiction set in the Middle Ages, a traveling wise man and his apprentice come to town. The local townspeople pay what they can in exchange for the knowledge the learned man can provide. Why won’t my crops grow? Why are my teeth falling out? Why is my steel too brittle? Finally, a merchant comes to the man and offers him huge sum of money and a veiling threat so that he will provide “advice” to his daughter not to marry a lowly guardsman. The traveling advisor refuses to give this advice, while explain to his assistant that the best advice is sometimes it is best to give your customer what they need, not what they want.Note: this story is a part of our legacy-of-excellence program. It was first published in the November 2020 issue of After Dinner Conversation.
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19. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1

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20. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1

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