I defy you to find someone who doesn’t know the story of The Wizard of Oz. It’s an enormously popular story, so ingrained into our popular culture world that statements such as ‘We’re not in Kansas anymore’ need no reference. Oz is on par with stories from Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley – we know what happens without even reading the works. As such, it’s good to go back and take a look at their place in SF’s canon, because they are very influential, and it’s easy to see why: they’re fantastic, eminently readable stories that hold up with their sense of wonder.
Recently, I attended ICFA down in Orlando Florida, where I had dinner with a couple of authors, notably Ted Chaing. We had gotten on the topic of robotics, and he mentioned that Tik Tok from Ozma of Oz could be considered one of the first robots in SF. It’s certainly an early appearance of a robot, and with that in mind, it’s interesting to see how much of Oz prefigured some of the modern SF genre.
Go read L. Frank Baum’s Wonderful Land of Oz over on the Kirkus Reviews Blog.
Editor John Joseph Adams has launched the website companion for his upcoming (February 2013) anthology Oz Reimagined.
Here’s what the anthology is about:
When L. Frank Baum introduced Dorothy and friends to the American public in 1900, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz became an instant, bestselling hit. Today the whimsical tale remains a cultural phenomenon that continues to spawn wildly popular books, movies, and musicals. Now, editors John Joseph Adams and Douglas Cohen have brought together leading fantasy writers such as Orson Scott Card and Seanan McGuire to create the ultimate anthology for Oz fans—and, really, any reader with an appetite for richly imagined worlds.
Like John’s previous anthology websites, the site for Oz Reimagined is loaded with tons of great stuff, like:
Here is the first episode of the animated version of The Wizard of Oz from 1990. The show ran for 13 episodes before it was whisked away by flying monkeys…
This short music video has been making the rounds for a couple of weeks, now. I dismissed it at first for it’s marginal sf/f content, but darned if I don’t find myself listening to it everytime I see it posted elsewhere. It’s sampled from audio clips from The Wizard of Oz and it’s visually odd, yet aurally soothing.
TRAILER: Oz The Great and Powerful (2013)
I was of mixed feelings on hearing of Sam Raimi’s treatment of the Frank Baum’s classic. On the one hand, I always felt like The Wizard of Oz was something better left alone. But then I learned that this is not a remake, but a prequel that tells the back story of how the wizard (played by James Franco), came to wind up in Oz.
Then they had me at flying monkeys.
This is so wrong. And so NSFW.
[via Look At This]