Sunday, July 19, 2020

This Week's Oz Short Story

The third story in the 2013 issue of Oziana is "Jinnicky Saves Christmas" by Nathan M.DeHoff, with illustrations by Shawn Maldonado, and it really is short. But there's a lot of action packed into it, too. On Christmas Eve, Jinnicky is flying along in his jinnrikisha when he has an encounter with a goose named Greta. They encounter another chariot that appears to be crewed by elves—the warrior kind that are popular in high fantasies like The Fellowship of the Ring. They're not happy with the image Santa's elves give them, so they're out to hijack Santa's sleigh! Fortunately, Jinnicky has a few tricks up his sleeve, and manages to stop them with a little assist from Greta.

Yes, I'm being deliberately vague so that you'll go out and get this issue and read the story. But it is really very cleverly written, and nicely balances the silly with just a bit of peril. DeHoff even manages a little nod to Christmas stories by two royal historians with characters appearing from both L. Frank Baum's The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus and Ruth Plumly Thompson's The Curious Cruise of Captian Santa. Toobad I didn't time this better to read it in December!

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