With the Oz the Great and Powerful movie out in theaters, it’s not surprising that there are a number of tie-ins and a great deal of interest in Oz over the past weeks. Due to being on top of some of my media and behind in others, I happened to have a week full of stories of both Oz of the books and Oz of the movies. Below are links to the pieces that helped my past week fill to the brim with Oz.
The History Chicks covered L. Frank Baum and the Wizard of Oz in their podcast and they also did a minicast on the Women of Oz, providing a brief overview of the women of the movie version of the Wizard of Oz – focusing on Judy Garland, Billie Burke and Margaret Hamilton. After listening to their podcasts, see their show notes for excellent supplemental information – beautiful photos, illustrations from the book and recaps of the information provided in in their conversation style podcast. Beckett and Susan are always entertaining and cover a variety of women in their regular podcasts. I highly recommend going through their archive after you’ve finished their two Oz related podcasts.
The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy had a wonderful interview with Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked as well as writing an introduction to a new Oz anthology. The remainder of the podcast was a discussion about the host’s memories of the Oz books, the writing of the new Oz anthology and memories of the 1939 movie.
Last but not least, I just finished Oz Reimagined edited by John Joseph Adams and Douglas Cohen. Oz Reimagined is a wonderful collection of short stories by a variety of authors, each taking his or her own take on the original Wizard of Oz book. Some of the stories took Oz into a science fiction realm, one into a reality TV show, multiple detective stories and one took Dorothy from Shanghai into a parallel Oz. My favorites were Emeralds to Emeralds, Dust to Dust by Seanan McGuire, A Tornado of Dorothys by Kat Howard and The Cobbler of Oz by Jonathan Maberry and Beyond the naked eye by Rachel Swirsky. All of the stories were wonderful and an imaginative reimagining of Baum’s Oz but these four stood out for me. The anthology is worth reading in its entirety or each individual story is available for sale individually.
Emeralds to Emeralds, Dust to Dust follows an adult Dorothy as she investigates the mysterious death of a Munchkin in Emerald City. Ozma and Dorothy do not get along as they did in their youth and there is unrest between the Ozites and immigrants like Dorothy who have decided to make Oz their home. In addition to her short story, McGuire has written and sung at least two songs that mention Dorothy, Wicked Girls (2012) and Dorothy (2007) the lyrics to both of which are available on her website.
A Tornado of Dorothys by Kat Howard shows us what happens when a place needs its story told at all cost. Oz needs a Dorothy, a Glinda and a witch of the East and someone must always be conscripted to play the roles.
The Cobbler of Oz by Jonathan Maberry gives the back story behind Dorothy’s silver slippers, from their creation, to their fall into disrepair and the adventures of a brave and generous winged monkey, Nyla, to restore them to their former glory.
In Beyond the Naked Eye Swirsky turns the adventures of Dorothy and her friends into a reality show – one where she is one group among several competing to have a wish granted by the great and terrible Oz. However, political unrest in the Emerald City cannot be completely eclipsed by the drama on screen.
All of the original Oz books are available in the public domain at Project Guttenberg if you want to reacquaint yourself with some of the original stories before diving into the later incarnations of the wonderful world.