Saturday, October 21, 2017

This Week's Oz Short Story

The third and final story of the 1984 issue of Oziana is another tale of the Great Detective, "The Mystery of the Missing Ozma" by editor Jay Delkin, with illustrations by Eric Shanower. It opens much like The Lost Princess of Oz, with Ozma and several of the most important magic items missing. But rather than send out search parties, the Great Detective and his previously unknown biographer get on the case. They travel around various points of Oz hunting down leads and clues, only to be thwarted at every step. They finally return to the Emerald City and use Dr. Nikidik's greatest invention to resolve the case, if not answer all of the questions raised. This is a story with its tongue firmly planted in its cheek, as tropes of both Oz and the Sherlock Holmes stories are upended, or at least gently pointed out. I'm not sure if every reader will be completely satisfied with this story's climax, but it did at least bring back Ozma and the magic instruments, so at least as far as the Ozites are concerned, it all worked out well in the end.

I may be taking next week off, but if I do get a chance to report, it will be on the first story of the 1985 issue.

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