Sunday, February 12, 2017

This Week's Oz Short Story

Continuing my read of the 1975 edition of Oziana, I read the concluding story, "The Threat to Civil-Oz-ation" by Dan Cox. When Dorothy first meets the Good Witch of the North in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the witch wonders if Kansas is a civilized country, and says that Oz has never been civilized. This story starkly brings that point home, as the Duke of Progressia, having invented a machine that lets him visit our world, decides that he likes it better, and so all magic in Oz must be eliminated or destroyed so he can remake Oz to be more like America. So when the Glass Cat and the Woozy come wandering into town, he targets them whilst perfecting his machine to eliminate all magic. Of course, this makes the Woozy angry, and anyone who knows him knows what happens when he gets angry. The combination of magic and Earth technology gives a satisfying conclusion to the story that saves Oz and even lets the Duke get what he wants (sort of). Despite the grim trappings of this story, this is a quick, breezy story that has more comedy in it than you might expect, and the interactions between Bungle and the Woozy really fit the characters well.

And as I mentioned last week, I will read the first story in this issue next week, as it's a long one and I have a long holiday weekend to enjoy it. Hey, there's no rule that says I have to read them all in order!

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