Tuesday, June 05, 2012
It's Gorilla Time
The Red Gorilla of Oz, by Richard Capwell - In some ways, this is a pretty typical Oz adventure, with someone from a small community seeking help from the Ozian establishment in resolving a problem. In this case, it's a community of gorillas in the Quadling Country that needs help restoring the protective Eternal Flame, which turns out to be not quite as eternal as advertised. It's up to the clumsy and impulsive Prince Sebastian, with help from a Kalidah cub, a lunar fairy, and eventually Dorothy and Toto, to find assistance. In addition to the typical adventuring, the workings of the Powder of Life come into play, and we learn more about how certain familiar characters came to life. I don't necessarily agree that powder would have been required to bring the Tin Woodman, the Tin Soldier, or Chopfyt to life, but it's an interesting idea nonetheless. Also playing roles are Dr. Pipt, Nimmie Amee, and the Winged Monkeys, the latter of whom have a rather unpleasant history with the gorillas. I appreciated the callbacks, and I liked the characterization of the well-meaning but heedless Sebastian and the precocious Kalidah cub Priscilla. The only illustration is the one on the cover, which is a shame as I've come to expect pictures with my Oz stories, but I understand that procuring such things can be a hassle. I definitely wouldn't mind seeing more Oz writing from Capwell in the future.