26 February 2013

Reimagining Oz Today

Today is the official publication date of Oz Reimagined, an anthology edited by John Joseph Adams and Douglas Cohen. As io9 reported last month, the individual stories in this collection will also be on sale as Kindle Singles.

Among the contributors, Jane Yolen wrote “Blown Away,” which has the sell line: “What if Toto was dead and stuffed, Ozma was a circus freak, and everything you thought you knew as Oz was really right here in Kansas?” Way to sell the magic, Jane!

Dale Bailey’s “City So Bright” is summarized as “Marxism comes to the Emerald City.” Didn’t it already?

More controversial, perhaps, is Orson Scott Card’s “Off to See the Emperor.” Not because of its approach to reimagining Oz—“Frank Baum’s son has the real experiences that his father later fictionalized.”—but because Card has become increasingly notorious for his homophobic writing and activism. Some Superman fans are dismayed that he’s scripting a story for DC Comics. Will Oz fans want to buy a book that includes Card’s work?


Anonymous said...

So is it OK to purchase anything with a contribution by Card? Should we pressure bookstores and libraries into removing his work from their shelves? And does anyone really think that Card is going to change his beliefs because of this?

J. L. Bell said...

Those are questions, Anonymous, that consumers can decide for themselves. The stories in this anthology are available separately, so a reader could buy all but Card's contribution, or only Card's contribution.

From what little I know about Card, his statements are inspired by his religion, and this unlikely to change unless the religion does so.

Jared said...

I think Jane Yolen also reviewed "The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus" for the Baum Bugle when it was reprinted by Dover. She spent the entire review saying why children wouldn't like the book and nothing of what made Dover's edition unique. A reader criticized her review, and she responded with assurance that she was correct in her writing off one of Baum's more curious fantasy books.

I heard she was an Oz fan when she was a child, but she seems to have very much fallen out of love with the series since.

J. L. Bell said...

I don’t recall that review, but Jane knows a tremendous amount about fantasy literature and writes prodigiously. In the last few years she wrote of being disappointed on rereading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but for solid reasons; Baum wasn’t really exercising his finest gift for characterization yet.

Glenn Ingersoll said...

I won't contribute to the maintenance of Mr Card's hating lifestyle, if I can avoid it. It looks like in this case I can avoid it.