Going on a Hozliday

So, the 2013 issue of Oziana is out now, and I have a story in it. “Jinnicky Saves Christmas” was an idea I came up with around the holidays two years ago. The theme of this issue is described on the title page as “Traditional Oz,” but really I’d say most of the stories in Oziana are traditional in sticking to the spirit of the original books. The first three deal with holidays (Christmas in my own, the Computer Wizard’s annual conquest attempt in Phyllis Ann Karr’s “Foiled by the Iffin,” and a harvest ball in Gina Wickwar’s…”The Harvest Ball”), but the other three don’t. Anyway, “Foiled by the Iffin” is a sequel to two other stories by Karr that appeared in Oziana in the eighties. Indeed it appears that the story was originally written in 1987, although it’s been edited since then. This one differs somewhat from the other two in that it doesn’t include the framing story about how the adventures of Corwin Davison Poe are actually taking place as part of a role-playing game in a future United States (or rather Reformed States of America) where a lot of people escape into fantasy even more than they do today. Also, unlike the first two this one isn’t illustrated by Melody Grandy, but I’m not sure she’s doing Oz work anymore. This time, the Computer Wizard hatches a plot that involves the Iffin (obviously a favorite of Karr’s) and the Barons Belfaygor and Mogodore from Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz. “The Harvest Ball” involves Glinda’s handmaiden Tozmia accidentally enchanting a corn maze, making everyone in it disappear. This is resolved pretty quickly, but what I really appreciated here was the description of the band playing at the party, which includes a lot of characters from throughout the series. Jenny Jump actually mentions in Scalawagons that she can play the piano, and according to this story she’s also added piccolo to her repertoire. I’m not sure how the Tin Woodman plays the flute without breath, but you could ask the same question about how he talks, couldn’t you? Actually, in the stage play he plays a piccolo, and they’re played pretty much the same way, right? The choices of dancing couples, as depicted on the cover by Luciano Vecchio, also piqued my interest. Two are married couples, but Ozma is dancing with Prince Inga, and King Rinkitink with Polychrome. Then there’s Ed McCray’s “The Love-Bug of Oz,” which has the Nome King wreaking havoc in the Emerald City with a magical bug from the Wicked Witch of the West’s castle. I like McCray’s take on the characters, and he manages to work in a few references to The Woggle-Bug Book as well. I thought of the Wogglebug’s attraction to Wagnerian Plaids (called that because they’re loud like Wagner’s music) when I first found out that he was in a story about magically induced love, and the Wizard of Oz explains why the educated insect is so attracted to them. I’m a little curious as to when this is supposed to take place, since Ruggedo is apparently still ruling the Nomes but has apparently already made a few invasion attempts. He also briefly meets Mombi at the Wicked Witch of the West’s castle, where she also went in The Ork in Oz. While “Love-Bug” is a comical story, Jared Davis’ “The Way of a Lion” is a more serious study, explaining how the Cowardly Lion came to be so fearful. It’s a clever telling of the famous feline’s history, and makes a good companion piece to “Thy Fearful Symmetry,” Jeff Rester’s origin story for the Hungry Tiger from the 2008 Oziana. Finally, Darrell Spradlyn and Marcus Mebes’ “Witches of the West” is about the struggle between the WWW and Gloma, the Good Witch of the West from Wishing Horse. There are some hints at future stories as well, with the tantalizing mention of how some witches sold their names in exchange for power. I’m glad to know that there are apparently still enough Oz fans around for Oziana to continue, although I have no idea how well it sells.

This entry was posted in Characters, Christmas, Gina Wickwar, Holidays, Jared Davis, Jeff Rester, John R. Neill, L. Frank Baum, Magic Items, Marcus Mebes, Melody Grandy, Oz, Oz Authors, Phyllis Ann Karr, Ruth Plumly Thompson and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Going on a Hozliday

  1. did your story appear in Jared Davis Oz site (not the royal blog, the other one) a few years ago?? I remember thinking it had some particularly fine puns in it (I always think how RPT would enjoy some of your puns)

  2. Pingback: Cowardly Beginnings | VoVatia

  3. Pingback: Art with Brains and Courage | VoVatia

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