As Hungry Tiger Press geared up to release Paradox in Oz, they printed another short story by Einhorn in Oz-Story 5, this one called Unauthorized Magic. In the editor's note, it is noted that this story is not a prequel to Paradox in Oz, but a nice chance to meet some of the characters from that book. As the story reveals, it would be set after Paradox.
Omby Amby (the Soldier With The Green Whiskers) is led by a boy named Buddy to investigate a use of unauthorized magic in the Munchkin Forest. It is Dr. Majestico, working on a challenge by Tempus: he must create an irresistible explosion to destroy an indestructible house. The paradox being that if the house isn't destroyed, the explosion wasn't irresistible. If the house is destroyed, then it wasn't indestructible. And now Omby Amby arrives to throw another factor into the paradox: in this time period, it is illegal for unauthorized magic users to use magic.
However, Dr. Majestico ignores Omby Amby and tells him that if he needs Ozma's consent to do magic, then her consent should be sought. As Omby goes to Ozma with Majestico's reply, Buddy returns to his home - a living house in which all the contents also live - and tells his mother of Dr. Majestico and Omby Amby's problems. As it turns out, Buddy's mother is a sorceress, using a spell to shield her activity from the Magic Picture and Glinda's Book of Records. If Ozma and Glinda are in the area, can she find a way to prevent them from nosing around and finding her? Can Dr. Majestico ever solve his great conundrum?
Playing with dialogue and using wordplay again, this Einhorn story is delightful. With a fun, brain-bending challenge for the readers to solve, paradoxes, parrot-oxes, and some great characters make this a great short story. Also, it turned out to be a nice bridging point in between Einhorn's first Oz novel and his second one.
Oz-Story 5 is now unavailable, so this seems to be another Oz short story for Einhorn's forthcoming book of short stories. And now, I and a few other Oz fans hope that book comes soon!