Weasel Overcome, But Not Before the Damage Done

I got my copy of the 2019 Oziana, the International Wizard of Oz Club‘s annual (well, mostly) collection of short fiction. I have a story in it, “The Giant Weasel of Oz,” which was an idea I came up with years ago and then finished last year. There was an Easter story I wrote in between those times that also featured weasels and egg thievery. Looking back at “Giant Weasel,” I might have liked to include some footnotes to explain the more obscure references, like the ones to Paul Dana’s books. Paul has his own story here, by the way, one based on the MGM movie instead of the books, which provides an epilogue for Miss Gulch. It’s called “The Epiphany of Miss Gulch,” which is an accurate description. What happened to her was a plot hole in the film, unless we just assume she died along with her Ozian counterpart. Paul’s story is clever, and deals with Gulch’s hatred of animals. Sara Philips’ “An Odd Transformation” has the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, Patchwork Girl, and Jack Pumpkinhead somehow magically turned human, and how they deal with it. Scraps is very depressed by it, while Jack likes that he has a better memory. The explanation for what happened makes sense in context, but wasn’t what I would have expected. I do wonder about the mention of a character named “Bumpy” toward the end; I wonder if it’s supposed to be Humpy, the rather unfortunately named dummy from The Lost King of Oz. “Bitsy, the Patchwork Cat of Oz” is by Jane Albright, who I don’t think has had a story in Oziana since the 1994 issue. It’s a cute and clever tale of a cat made from Scraps’s cast-off patches who comes to life. The familiar characters are well-realized, and the original ones fit in well. There’s a brief mention of a shoemaker’s son who leaves home when magic is outlawed, which makes me think of Ugu. His back story doesn’t really fit with this, though, so maybe there’s more than one shoemaking magician. Rounding things out is “The End of the Road,” a poem by E.J. Hagadorn. All of the stories and the covers are illustrated, with artwork by David Valentin, Lyan Tjally, Steve Smith, Mela Pagayonan, and Darrell Spradlyn.

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2 Responses to Weasel Overcome, But Not Before the Damage Done

  1. Jane Albright says:

    Just stumbled across this post from a year ago (!) and thought I’d reply. I’m glad you liked my story. It was a pleasure to write. My vanished son of dad “Bert” who had an apparent knack for making magic shoes was actually a nod to Adrian, the designer of MGM’s Ruby Slippers. As Easter eggs go it was pretty obscure, but there you have it! I had also intended to use Tilda as the name for my seamstress as a nod to Matilda Josyln Gage, but then Ages of Oz came out with a Tilda of its own so I didn’t want to go there. I wound up with Hidha after literally hours in Google translate trying to find a word that sounded like a name that might be fitting and finally turned up this one. It’s Arabic for “slipper.” Jane

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