Heartbreak Hostel

Havenly Dreams Beneath Oz, by Marin Elizabeth Xiques and Chris Dulabone – This book focuses on two goblins from the underground Goblin Grotto who have problems with their home lives. At first the focus is on a female goblin named Raspberry, but then it somewhat abruptly switches to the unwanted fourth daughter of a baroness, Soulae. It’s Soulae who has an adventure in Oz with Dorothy, the Tin Woodman, the Cowardly Lion, and the Hungry Tiger. They face a tricky villain named Clintonav Calloogaderm, and spend much of their time on a strange world located on a speck of dust (shades of Horton Hears a Who and the Moons of Ida from the Xanth series). Honestly, I didn’t find this to be one of the best offerings from

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4 Responses to Heartbreak Hostel

  1. vilajunkie says:

    I know I may be flamed for this by some of your Oz readers who are Oz novel fans who find something of value to enjoy in every published fanon Oz book, but the “Tails of the Cowardly Lion and Friends” just seems to publish the least coherent or intricate plots with the names of Ozian characters (or every character Baum and Thompson character they ever created, even “The Maid of Arran” but I have not yet seen Lesba of “The Fate of a Crown”–gee, I wonder why…) slapped on and pet universes of the authors’ original characters inserted into an Oz story haphazardly and often the new elements are more saccharine than even Baum was. Sorry, it’s just, I don’t know, I’m an Oz fan, but I don’t think every Oz fan’s personal idea for an Oz story needs to be illustrated and published. I mean, I don’t really see any, say, “official” fanon books of the Narnia series in bookstores, at least not where I’m looking.

    • Nathan says:

      It can be a little difficult to talk openly about some of these books, as I know a fair number of the people involved. I definitely applaud Chris for being willing to publish all of these books without making any profit from it, but it’s true that they’re very hit-or-miss. I think Chris as an author has a tendency to get either too silly or preachy and sentimental, if not both. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a lot of good ideas, just that he could probably stand to be a little more subtle.

      As for your last sentence, the Narnia books aren’t in the public domain, so that could be why you don’t see fan-written sequels. Actually, though, when I was a kid there were some Narnia books written in a Choose Your Own Adventure style; I own a few of them, and they definitely weren’t written by Lewis. And I haven’t seen any TOTCLAF books in bookstores, although I have occasionally come across Emerald City Press publications in stores other than Books of Wonder itself. And Donald Abbott, the author most represented by ECP, is often just as overly cutesy as Chris.

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