Sunday, March 20, 2016

This Week's Oz Short Story

With no more new stories to read, it was time to dip into the old stuff. So I decided the time was right to dip into my archives of Oziana, the International Wizard of Oz Club's literary magazine, which has been published annually since 1971. I have every issue from 1975 on, and reprints of the earlier issues, so this is going to be a lot of fun. Since I also haven't read most of them more than once (i.e., when I first got them), I will probably rediscover all kinds of new stories.

Naturally, I started off with the very first story of the 1971 issue, "The Patchwork Girl and the Giant" by Harry Mongold, with illustrations by Bill Eubank. As one might expect, for the very first story there isn't a lot of change in the status quo. One evening, Scraps decides to roll down a hill, but there are no hills in the Emerald City, so she heads out of town. She meets an owl who's been blown away from his home by a giant, and so she helps him get home. There, she meets a giant with an important job to do, which is why he spends so much of his time blowing water uphill. It all works out in the end, and the owl gets back home with no further trouble from the giant, but it doesn't quite work out as one might expect, either. This one reminded me of "Little Dorothy and Toto" from The Little Wizard Stories of Oz, but without quite so much peril.

Since it was so short, I also read the following item, a poem entitled "Tik-Tok Takes a Trip", also by Mongold and illustrated by Eubank. Tik-Tok goes out for a walk, and when he senses his works are halfway unwound, he turns around and comes back. Um, not much more to say, actually.

Besides the chance to reread all those stories, however, I had another motive in rereading Oziana. I've been pondering the possibilities of using a wiki to set up an index, and I thought Oziana would be the perfect opportunity to try it out. So, if you are interested in seeing what I've done so far, go to to see what I've done so far. I've only indexed the recently acquired Oziana 2015 so far, and started on the 1971 issue. I plan to add to it each week as I read a new story. It's pretty basic right now, but maybe some others can help out and expand some of my entries, or add information on characters, locations, and items in the stories. This could be a lot of fun, and I'm interested in seeing where this ends up going.

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