Short-Stories by L. Frank Baum, an Imaginary Anthology Compiled by Jeff Baker.

I’ve been reading a lot of L. Frank Baum’s short-stories in the last few months. Most of these stories, by the author of “The Wizard of Oz” are not as well-known, even though there is a Collected Short-Stories out there and some of them have been anthologized now and then. I first encountered them in David G. Hartwell’s “Masterpieces of Fantasy and Enchantment” mostly reprinted from Baum’s collections “American Fairy Tales” and the posthumously published “Animal Fairy Tales.” While the bulk of them were written with kids in mind there is an undercurrent of satire (especially in the “American Fairy Tales.”)

I’d love to see a paperback anthology of some of Baum’s best stories. Here’s the lineup I’d pick:

Best Short Stories by L. Frank Baum

(An Imaginary Anthology)

Compiled by Jeff Baker, June 27, 2020

 

 

Urban Fantasies;

The Glass Dog

The Enchanted Types

The Magic Bon-Bons

The Dummy That Lived

 

Tales of the Prairie;

The Discontented Gopher

The Capture of Father Time

The Diamondback

The Enchanted Buffalo

 

A Tale of Mystery:

The Suicide of Kiaros

 

Other Fantasies:

The Stuffed Crocodile

The Tiger’s Eye

 

A Touch of Oz;

The Lovely Lady of Light (from Tik-Tok of Oz)

 

Most of these stories can be found in either “Animal Fairy Tales” or “American Fairy Tales,” with the exception of “The Tiger’s Eye,” which was published separately and “The Diamondback,” which was found (minus its first page) in Baum’s publisher’s files, long after his death. In addition, “The Suicide of Kiaros” was published in 1897 and reprinted in “Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine” and the anthology “Knights of Madness.” It is an adult locked-room mystery with a powerful last line.

“The Lovely Lady of Light” is a chapter from Baum’s novel “Tik-Tok of Oz” I found the excerpt charming, especially with its then-contemporary reference to Edison.

 

This entry was posted in Anthologies, Fantasy, L. Frank Baum, Mystery, Short-Stories, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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