Saturday, February 01, 2014

The Latest Oz Short Story

I was tied up with all kinds of things last weekend, and figured I could put off reading an Oz short story. But this week I have no excuses, so I read the next story in Shadows of the Emerald City. This was "Four AM at the Emerald City Windsor" by H. F. Gibbard. This is definintely not a version of Oz I'd like to visit. It seems Dorothy was a little older during her initial trip to Oz, because it is strongly hinted that she — er — had physical relations during The Wizard of Oz, and later as well. Not long after arriving home, she marries a magician named The Great Cagliostro, who actually turns out to be a lowlife named Bert Lister from Knoxville. Ten year's later, they're living in the cheapest fleabag motel in the Emerald City, Bert does some bad stuff, and he has to pay the price. This had very little to do with Oz, as even the parts set in Oz could be anywhere, as this version of Oz is too much like our own world. (It's also extremely unclear when this story is set.) There's a little bit of magic, and a brief appearance by someone everyone calls the Tin Man but who doesn't act much like him at all, so I don't think this one is terribly Ozzy at all. It reads to me more like an episode of The Twilight Zone, only not as cheerful as that show (and if you know much at all about The Twilight Zone, you know that this story is then pretty grim indeed).

Only three more stories to go, so I should be done with this by the end of the month. And then... Well, I'll tell you about that when I get there!

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