Sunday, June 11, 2017

This Week's Oz Short Story

Wow, have I reached 1979 in my rereading of Oziana already? I guess I have! And the first story is "Journal of a Journey" by Mary Rakestraw. This is a very simple and (mostly) sweet tale of an unnamed Oz fan from Michigan wishing she could go on a walking tour of Oz—and then brought to Oz by Dorothy and the Wizard to do just that! She starts off in the Gillikin country, and has encounters with farmers, animals, and before too long some of the celebrities show up as well. The Shaggy Man takes her on a tour of one of Ozma's storehouses. A couple of winged monkeys take her to spend a night with Glinda. She talks horticulture and pumpkin tarts with Jack Pumpkinhead, and finds Zeb and Jim are caretakers of the Gales' farm when they're off in the Emerald City—where, appropriately, our protagonist unexpectedly finds herself at the end of her journey. There are no high stakes involved in this story, just a chance to see what Oz is really like. And Rakestraw does a very nice, evocative job of creating this version of Oz. It feels very real, and a good place to visit.

To make up for my lack of post last week, I'm also going to delve into the non-story extras in this issue:

  • A handsome cover by my friend, the late Rob Roy MacVeigh, which I believe is his first contribution to the magazine.
  • A very short poem by Ruth Berman about Gloma, the dark witch of the Winkie woods whom Dorothy met in The Wishing Horse of Oz.
  • A quiz by Cathy Provo.
  • And on the back cover, a cartoon by Dennis Anfuso entitled, "What If..." and Dorothy telling Aunt Em how lucky it was that she and Toto made it into the cyclone cellar as they watch their house whirl away.

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