There seems to be a need among many writers to turn Oz dark. I'm not denying that Oz has its dark side, but that's always been the exception, and many Oz books are about characters going out to counteract that darkness and defeating those who embrace it. In general, Oz is a pretty neat place that's a lot of fun to visit, or even live in. Nevertheless, on top of the books I've already highlighted in this series of posts, I have listings in my shop for Dorothy: The Darker Side of Oz, Dorothy Gale, Vampire Hunter (and its sequel), Vampires and Oz, and the graphic novel No Place Like Home. But the epitome of this trend may be Shadows of the Emerald City, an anthology of short stories all set in darker, dystopian versions of Oz. In fact, it was my reading this collection that led me to my weekly reading of an Oz short story and resulting blog posts. Here's what I originally said about the collection, after reading the final story, in a 2014 post on this blog:
I think it's fair to say that, while I enjoyed a few of the individual stories, overall I was not impressed with this collection. While I've always maintained that there is no wrong way to write an Oz story, and I'm usually fine with Movie-based or other versions of Oz not based solely on the books, the many different bases for Oz in this collection struck me as confusing. Maybe it says something about me that the stories I liked the most are the ones based on the Oz books, and some of the later books at that. At any rate, if you're interested in some of these stories, you may want to check out the collection. But if you're an Oz purist, or a more sensitive reader, or think Oz should just be for children, then you'll want to stay away from this one.Tomorrow, I will tell you about an upcoming Oz event that is bound to be quite Popular!