Saturday, September 10, 2016

This Weekend's Oz Short Story

Yes, at long last, they're back! I think I've dealt with most of the other stuff that had to be dealt with, and picked up very few new things, so I am going to do my best to read an Oz short story every week again and write a little something about it here. I picked up where I left off, with the third issue of the International Wizard of Oz Club's literary magazine, Oziana 1973. The first story in it is "Tempus Temporis in Terra Ozis" by George Van Buren. As you may be able to guess from the title, Van Buren originally wrote the story in Latin, but he managed to provide an English translation for publication. In this story, the Wicked Witch of the West leaves a message behind for the king or queen of Oz warning that, if he or she sees it, the country has only a week left before a doomsday device she buried somewhere in Oz goes off, in the event of her destruction. When Ozma gets the message, she, Dorothy, and Glinda have to figure out where it is and how to disarm it. A search through the Book of Records and some detective work leads everyone to figure out that the burial was witnessed by a Gillikin boy named Tip. Longtime Oz fans probably know what that means, but Ozma has no clue. So a little time travel is used to bring Tip to the present day, and I'm sure you can guess the kinds of issues that that could raise. All works out well in the end, of course. Van Buren's writing style can be a little stilted (perhaps an aftereffect of its Latin origins), but the story itself is solid and well put together, even with a bit of a deusex machina ending.

Next week, an excerpt from a novel I haven't read in nearly forty years (hmm, maybe it's time to put that one in my to read pile!)

No comments: