I’ve previously reviewed the 2016 Oziana, which consists of fifteen different alternate endings for Rinktink in Oz. I thought I should say a little more about each one, however, so here we go.
- Susan Johnson starts out by going in a different direction from L. Frank Baum’s ending, physically as well as metaphorically, with Inga, Rinkitink, and Bilbil leaving the Nome Kingdom and encountering a nasty merchant named Rasta with a magic rope that he uses to take prisoners. He turns out to be the King’s brother Bobara, who is angry because the monarch married a non-royal. The enchantment on Bilbil was worked by Zog at Bobara’s behest, and King Anko breaks it.
- Aaron Solomon Adelman wrote a short piece that doesn’t really provide an ending so much as questioning the official one. A reporter for the Ozmapolitan interviews Inga, and comes up with the idea that Zella kept the Pink and Blue Pearls, after which she saved the day and became a monster hunter. Yeah, it’s a bit on the silly side.
- Dennis Anfuso has the Nome King unsuccessfully try to trick Inga into killing his own parents in enchanted form. Bilbil, with help from the White Pearl, then convinces Roquat that he’d been fooled by King Gos and Queen Cor, as they bribed him with jewels when he claims ownership over all the jewels in the world anyway. That was something I wondered about as well, honestly.
- Jared Davis uses the idea from Ozma of Roquat having transformed Inga’s parents into ornaments and making the party guess which ones they are. Inga succeeds in this with assistance from the White Pearl. The pearl theme is continued with the Nome King using a lavender one instead of the Magic Belt to work his transformations.
- Baruch Adelman uses the same concept as his brother Aaron in having a reporter try to determine the true story by interviewing those involved. It’s longer, however, with Rinkitink, Roquat, Dorothy, and Bilbil. The King of Gilgad comes up with a ridiculous story inspired by James Bond and J.R.R. Tolkien, and tries to flirt with the interviewer. The Nome makes Bilbil out to be a criminal mastermind. Dorothy tells basically the same story as in the original book, but elaborates a bit on how terrified the Nomes are of eggs, which the reporter has reason to doubt. And Bilbil claims that everyone eventually just made peace, and it was covered up to make the tale more exciting.
- Andrew Heller’s entry won the contest, and it has Rinkitink getting the Nomes hooked up his How to Be Good scroll to the extent that it disrupts order in the kingdom, and Roquat gives up. It’s then revealed that practically everyone involved is a king or prince in disguise, and Bilbil is the ruler of a country of goats even more surly than he is.
- George Van Buren does a twist on Bobo’s disenchantment by having the goat, again with help from the White Pearl, trick Roquat into working the same transformations Glinda does in the book. He also happens to have some eggs, which were originally transformed with him and caused his rotten disposition.
- Nicholas M. Campbell has Inga and the White Pearl fool Roquat with a technically accurate promise of bottomless riches, and Bilbil turns out to be a prince of goats, much like in Heller’s ending. Rinkitink finds out that his own kingdom was taken over by the very proper Tooshoos, author of How to Be Good. The King survives falling into the sea thanks to the Pink Pearl, enlists Queen Aquareine’s help in defeating Gos and Cor (here mistakenly called King Cos and Queen Gos), and is crowned King of Regos and Coregos in their place.
- Christopher M. Diket also uses the ornament room, but with the twist of the Nome King not being able to work the Belt correctly, but that turning out to be part of a larger plot on his part. Rinkitink also turns out to be surprisingly prepared, and has a magical pop-up book that can tell the future. They’re also saved from some water monsters by a swarm of bees who are friends of the charcoal burner Nikobob’s. This one is kind of confusing, but includes some fun concepts.
- Robin Hess’s story has Inga find his parents pretty quickly with the Pearls’ assistance, then the protagonists visiting Ev and learning about Lionel the Loneliest Wizard, who’s a pretty amusing character. He disenchants Prince Bobo, who was transformed by a rival of his, the wizard Glamput. Robin’s own Toto and the Cats of Oz gives a different name for the enchanter.
- Karen Diket begins with another new wizard, Zenoro, who comes to the Nome Kingdom looking for a magical jewel and escaping the Three Trick Caverns in the process. He leaves some magic behind, which helps Inga to find his parents and bring some pearls from Gilgad to trade to the Roquat for their release.
- John W. and Eleanor M. Kennedy have the Nome King mistake the White Pearl for an egg, and Bilbil uses his sense of smell to solve a puzzle involving doors. The goat is disenchanted in a way involving some wordplay, which is essentially what led to the wizard enchanting him in the first place.
- In Sarah Hadley’s ending, Roquat gets Rinkitink drunk and finds out about the Pearls. Things turn around somewhat when Bilbil befriends Kaliko, and receives his assistance in, once again, the ornament rooms. This time, however, the goat breaks the enchantments by breaking the knick-knacks. Kaliko takes over the Nome Kingdom, but Inga gives Roquat the White Pearl as a bit of consolation. There’s also quite a bit on Nome food. There’s also a connection to the previous entry, in that Bilbil eats the How to Be Good scroll.
- Mariah B’Forre also incorporates eggs, in this case ones from a jackdaw nest near the Nome Kingdom, as weapons for Inga and company to use. They then escape a maze with help from the White Pearl.
- Finally, Maggie Lockett has a short ending where Inga saves Gos and Cor from the Wheelers, and strike a bargain with them to let them live on Pingaree from then on.
I also reread Invisible Inzi of Oz, by Virginia and Robert Wauchope. This is one of the earliest fan-written Oz books, most likely to first to be published, and the story behind it is that it was narrated to the young authors by a Ouija Board. I’m not entirely sure how likely that is, but there’s an afterword that explains it as subconscious on their part. It was serialized in a magazine called A Child’s Garden from 1925 through 1926, with Maud Baum’s blessing. It doesn’t particularly read like Baum, but it does show a definite familiarity with his books, including Ozma’s army officers acting as they did in Ozma, a plot inspired by Lost Princess, and the Wizard of Oz using the magic word from Magic.
Dorothy, the Wizard, the Scarecrow, and Scraps go off to find some books stolen from Glinda, briefly passing through some of the usual pun-filled themed communities on the way. The basic ideas of Musicton, Flattown, and Walkingbury are used in other books as well, with Tune Town in Ruth Plumly Thompson’s Gnome King, High Faluting City in John R. Neill’s Runaway, and Fix City with its walking furniture in Royal Book. The thief, Kuik Blackbab, whose methods are pretty similar to Ugu the Shoemaker‘s, lives in a lion-shaped castle that used to belong to a sorceress named Inzi.
Kuik transformed her, and while she can take different shapes, she cannot regain her human form. She usually remains invisible, or takes the form of a floating flame called a roodnite. It seems like there isn’t a whole lot of resolution. The heroes get back Glinda’s books and escape the castle, but leave Kuik alone aside from leaving a sign threatening him with the Water of Oblivion if he continues to practice magic, and Inzi goes to live in the Emerald City without being disenchanted. Maybe that’s to keep it as close as possible to what came from the kids’ subconscious in the first place. It’s a slight story, but a decent one. Chris Dulabone published the edition I have, and Eric Shanower illustrated it.
I do believe that you’ve hurt my feelings by neglecting to mention our contribution to the Rinkitink stories in Amanda and I’s book, Even More Tails of Oz.
Well, the post wasn’t meant to be a comprehensive look at everything about Rinkitink.
Well, you certainly included a load of contemporary authors, just not us.
That’s because they were all in that Oziana issue.