Monday, July 17, 2023

The Latest Oz Short Story

If you remember my massive reread of every issue of Oziana, I managed to get through all of them—with one exception. But now that I've reached Rinkitink in Oz/King Rinkitink in my current reading, I can finally fill that gap. Because the 2016 issue of Oziana contains all of the entries for the Oz Club's contest to complete King Rinkitink. It even includes the winning entry by Andrew Heller If the cost of buying the actual published book version of King Rinkitink is dounting, this is a more affordable way to get it, with the bonus of also getting a few other versions. There are fifteen endings in this issue, including Heller's, so this may take a few weeks. (I can't guarantee one write-up a week, but I will try to do so.)

First up is "Suggested Ending to Rinkitink in Oz" by Susan Johnson, and this one, at least, seems plausible. Taking the advice of the white pearl, Inga, Rinkitink, and Bilbil decide to leave the Nome Kingdom and see what alies they can find elsewhere. Their travels take them to Boboland, where the King and Queen have been away for several years looking for their missing son, Prince Bobo. In their absence, robber barons have divided the country and taken many of the products grown there. But the King of Boboland is also a powerful magician who discovers that his son has arrived at the palace, so they return to put things back to right. (If you know Rinkitink in Oz, you'll know where Prince Bobo has been all this time.) Inga then returns to the Nome Kingdom with allies from Boboland, and with the backing of a powerful ally and the news that Gos and Cor have drowned, Roquat reluctantly grants King Kitticut and Queen Garee of Pingaree their freedom. From this point, Johnson's version ends pretty much as Rinkitink in Oz does, and all ends well for just about everyone. I like that this version ties into Prince Bobo, and that we get to see a lot of Boboland, which Baum never visited in the books. (Its inclusion on the map endpapers of Tik-Tok of Oz makes me suspect that the characters actually do visit Boboland in the original King Rinkitink.) I suspect this ending nearly made the cut.

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