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A Barnstormer In Oz

av Philip José Farmer

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
267275,859 (3.44)2
In this variation on the Oz books, Glinda, the Good Witch, is helped by Dorothy's son.
  1. 00
    Was av Geoff Ryman (jonathankws)
    jonathankws: Set more in the 'real world' this re-telling of Oz compares three protagonists: a gay male actor with AIDS, a girl called Dorothy who a fictional L. Frank Baum 'created' Oz for, and a makeup girl on the set of the original film version film who encounters Judy Garland.… (mer)
  2. 00
    Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West av Gregory Maguire (jonathankws)
    jonathankws: More closely linked back to the original books, but still quite adult/dark in material.
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In A Barnstormer in Oz, Philip José Farmer reinterprets L. Frank Baum's original Oz work and alters its genre from fantasy to science fiction. Farmer acknowledges Baum's books, but works from the premise that Dorothy was a real person who really traveled to Oz, a world in a parallel dimension to our own. After her return Baum, then a reporter, met with her and made some notes, which he later adapted into a children's story, altering some events to protect Dorothy's identity and others to streamline the story. In Farmer's version, Dorothy never returned to Oz and the subsequent books by Baum were of his own creation.
A Barnstormer in Oz begins in 1923 when Dorothy's son, Hank Stover, and his plane are transported to Oz as a result of an experiment by the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Hank finds himself in the middle of a war between Glinda and another witch while also trying to prevent the U.S. military from sending more people to Oz, which would endanger the native population in much the same way as European colonization spread disease in the New World. Farmer updates the Oz books, but maintains Baum's distinct Americanized fairytale vision. As the book is set in the 1920s, it has a less romanticized and more scientific and worldly view than Baum's late-19th and early-20th century novels. Some of the more adult themes, such as sexuality and religion, foreshadow Gregory Maguire's later Wicked series. Most interestingly, Farmer worked to explain how Oz was populated by familiar animals and humans, even creating a Germanic language for his Quadlings to speak.
Fans of the original Baum books will find plenty to enjoy in Farmer's work, where he seeks to explain much of what Baum took for granted. Farmer's premise serves to separate A Barnstormer in Oz enough from the original works that any parts that offend die-hard Baum fans can be easily dismissed, though Farmer clearly holds Baum in high regard. For those who grew up with Baum and are looking for something a little more adult, like Wicked and its subsequent sequels, this book fills that desire. I only have two complaints: First, that it's a pity Farmer never turned the book into a series. His notes at the end (well worth the read) make clear that he had more in mind for this book and a sequel would have offered him the chance to explore that. Second, the absence of the Cowardly Lion is irksome. Farmer describes some events involving the Cowardly Lion, but, as Stover isn't in the vicinity, they're reported third-hand. Despite this, Farmer cleverly explains the Cowardly Lion's size though descent from the American Lion, an extinct animal that was larger than the modern African Lion.
These two complaints notwithstanding, A Barnstormer in Oz is a worthy entry into the world of Oz and offers a great deal of thought-provoking material while shifting genres from fantasy to science-fiction. ( )
  DarthDeverell | Aug 5, 2015 |
A Barnstormer in Oz seems to me to be an exercise in explaining the wonders of Oz in scientific terms. Or, at least as close to scientific as you can get in a world of magical events that defy explanation. Farmer has done an excellent job of that. His narrative also includes action sequences which serve to enliven the tale and create suspense, so that it’s not just one long treatise. The dual purpose of the text therefore feels a little disjointed, as though explanations must be interrupted for something interesting to happen, and vice versa. I enjoyed Farmer’s perspective, but was not much caught up in the action. The subplot of what would happen if Americans invaded Oz was much more fascinating to me than the eventual defeat of the evil Erakna. Both sets of invaders were dispatched without much in the way of fanfare, and the final battle between Glinda and Erakna was rather confusing to read. I found I was spending more time trying to picture what Farmer was describing, than feeling the suspense and excitement of the altercation. This is an interesting book, but recommended only for hardcore fans of the Land of Oz. ( )
  EmScape | Oct 20, 2010 |
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In this variation on the Oz books, Glinda, the Good Witch, is helped by Dorothy's son.

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