miko2: Ranma disguised as a schoolgirl to fool Ryoga (Default)
[personal profile] miko2
I took Tuesday off so that I could stay in Longview Monday night and see the fireworks. The weather, for once, has been really nice for the 4th, and the fireworks were fun.

I brought two books down with me: Paradox in Oz and The Living House of Oz, both by Edward Einhorn. Frequently when I'm on vacation i bring one or several books and dont take the time to read anything. This time, I finished both books off and wish I'd brought something else along to read.

I liked The Living House of Oz. It's not, in my opinion, quite as good as Paradox in Oz, but both are excellent Oz books. (And to be honest, many of Baum's Oz books are less than stellar -- some lack any villain or what you might call a plot). Anyway, it occurred to me that Einhorn has pulled off a pretty neat trick: he does Maguire without doing Maguire. By which I mean he presents the Wicked Witch of the West in a sympathetic light, while writing a "cannon" Oz story rather than a revisionist Oz story. How does he do this? It's an alternate dimension Wicked Witch, of course, from a version of Oz where many of the good people are evil, and many of the evil people are good. He set that world up in Paradox, but he has a lot of fun with the idea of a wicked witch who isn't in The Living House.

I like Einhorn's two Oz books, and I hope he's writing another. The first came out in 1999 and the second in 2005, so he's not fast, but now would be about the right time for a third to appear if he's got one planned. I really like modern Oz books that borrow from Baum's Oz while trying to write a more coherent and exciting story than some of what Baum wrote.

This is what Jack Snow started, and many writers after him have taken his lead. Ruth Plumly Thompson was the second Oz Historian, and she ignored many of Baum's characters and rules and wrote Oz her own way. Artist John R. Neill followed her and he very much wrote yet another kind of Oz, one where everything talked, even houses, and logic kind of flew out the window. When Jack Snow got his turn to write Oz books, he ignored pretty much everything Thompson and Neill did. He went back to the Baum books and worked from there. Writers after him followed suit. This was greatly encouraged by Thompson, who was protective of her own work and did not want other writers messing with it.

Since then, of course, all of Baum's books have entered public domain, as well as Jack Snow's two books, but only some of Thompson's books and none of Neill's. So the "ignore most of what Thompson and Neill wrote" is enforced not only by author's choice but also by copyright constraints. Which is just fine with me. ^_^


miko2: Ranma disguised as a schoolgirl to fool Ryoga (Default)

December 2012

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