Saturday, August 08, 2015

The Latest Oz Short Story

I know, I know, I was going to put this off for a while. But I couldn't resist, and bought a copy of I Didn't Quite Make It to Oz, the companion volume to the last set of short stories I read, I Should Have Stayed in Oz. This second volume is the stories that were rejected for the first one, but for various reasons were not accepted. I Didn't Quite Make It to Oz started off life as an e-book, which is perfect for this sort of thing, but for whatever reason it was decided to also put out a print edition. The book starts off with an introduction by editor Selina Rosen about the many reasons as to why a story may be rejected. Some are pretty obvious, like not following the guidelines or just being a jerk (although Rosen doesn't say it as nicely as that). Then there are the more esoteric ones, like there just not being enough room in the book and something has to go. Rosen also prefaces each story with the particulars as to why it was rejected, and in the case of "Dorothy Flies the Coop" by Dion Mayes-Burnett, it was that there was another story about a grown-up Dorothy in an asylum, and as the other story was by a more established author, his name would probably sell more copies. (Rosen makes it very clear that publishing is still a business, and she still has to keep an eye on the bottom line!) Mayes-Burnett's sees Dorothy about to turn eighteen and ready to leave the asylum, but a doctor with an axe to grind and a point to make sabotages her final examination and won't let her go home to Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. It's a good thing Dorothy's friends have an alternate way for her to get out! Extra kudos to Mayes-Burnett for making Dorothy's famous footwear silver shoes. She also does a pretty good job of creating the new characters Dorothy meets and giving them personalities, but her Dorothy ends up being a bit of a cipher as a result. Still, it was a fun read, and I'm glad Rosen found a way to get this one out to readers.

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