Sunday, May 21, 2017

This Week's Oz Short Story

This week's tale was "Beyond the Rainbow" by Daniel K. Cox, from the 1978 issue of Oziana. Qwerty Jones is an American boy who, via a gas main explosion, manages to get to Oz. Unlike most Americans who make it to Oz, he is taken directly to the Emerald City, without getting to test his mettle through a series of adventures. With Ozma and the Wizard out of town when he arrives, Qwerty has a little time on his hands to explore the city and ponder what is to become of him. He has conversations with the Scarecrow, Dorothy, and (after coming back to town) the Wizard about just what it means to be unaging and immortal, and he spends the last night of the story thinking hard before Ozma declares his fate the next morning. What he and Ozma both decide is surprising, but not terribly out of character for either. This is a small, quiet little story told mainly through conversations and inner monologues during observations, but it does come to a satisfying, if abrupt conclusion. The conclusion is so abrupt, in fact, that I wonder if a final paragraph or two weren't cut off during production, as the final paragraph is a statement by Ozma that does not end with a quotation mark. Perhaps the missing next paragraph would continue her statement.

This is the final story of this issue, but that's not the end of this issue, as there are a cartoon, a poem, and other extra bits to talk about next week.


Nathan said...

I like the somewhat unorthodox look at Oz and the musings on immortality in this one. It touches on the dark aspects without actually becoming too dark. I'm not that keen on the idea of Jenny Jump leaving Oz, but I guess she might have come back after this.

Eric said...

Jenny's fate in this story does fit her character, however. Besides, did we ever see her again in an Oz book after Lucky Bucky? But the issues of Oz canon are just so problematic that I've decided not to worry about it, and just let any Oz story I read to stand on its own merits.

Nathan said...

Runaway, although that probably doesn't take place long after Lucky Bucky. Some more recent stories also use her and her Style Shop.