At long last, I'm done with Shadows of the Emerald City, the anthology of Oz-themed horror stories. And the final story, "The King of Oz" by Martin Rose, may be one of the oddest of the lot. I don't dare say much about this one, because even the premise gives away a lot, but it involves Dorothy's son who's a firefighter, the Scarecrow, and a pyromaniac who becomes the new Wicked Witch of the West. The book ended with a roster of the contributors, and their comments about their stories and how they came about.
I think it's fair to say that, while I enjoyed a few of the individual stories, overall I was not impressed with this collection. While I've always maintained that there is no wrong way to write an Oz story, and I'm usually fine with Movie-based or other versions of Oz not based solely on the books, the many different bases for Oz in this collection struck me as confusing. Maybe it says something about me that the stories I liked the most are the ones based on the Oz books, and some of the later books at that. At any rate, if you're interested in some of these stories, you may want to check out the collection. But if you're an Oz purist, or a more sensitive reader, or think Oz should just be for children, then you'll want to stay away from this one.