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As The Stars Allow

Book by H. C. Turk

Average: 2 (1 vote)

October 18, 2018  |  1,303 views  |  0 reviews / comments

As The Stars Allow - Book coverIn this retelling of THE WIZARD OF OZ, the original fantasy is shown to be the result of a virtual reality experiment gone wrong. Though still a poignant fable, this story has the bite of future science.
A girl carries her doll in one hand and a fresh scalp in the other, on her way to a better land she’ll have to make first.

Though her memory is faulty, Melody recalls leaving school after being accused of witchcraft. Her pseudo-doll, Dodo, defended her by removing the teacher’s scalp (instead of her entire head).

Dazed Melody walks home only to be confronted by the teacher, who wants her scalp back. She also wants to have Melody’s dangerous doll confiscated. To protect her best friend and herself, Melody summons a storm that takes her to a better place.

Swept up in a tornado, Melody arrives at Munching Land, where school kids nibble on snacks all day. There, Melody begins an adventure along with her new friends: Scarecow, Metalman, and Tiger. The four journey to the Odds wizard, who will help them find their true place in life.

Upon meeting Odds, they learn he will only help them if they bring him the Bitch Witch’s gizzard. (Bitch Witch is the teacher with the removed scalp). So, the group travels through the forest to Bitch Witch, who attacks with an army of flying aardvarks. Melody and Dodo are swept away, and the others are beat up.

In the witch’s lair, Melody and Dodo are rescued by the Rich Witch, Gilda. When Melody’s recuperated friends arrive, they perform minor surgery on Bitch Witch using Metalman’s axe. After they sew her back up, she’s not the witch she used to be.

Then the group returns to Odds, who says it’s the wrong gizzard. Angry, Melody begins digging around behind the scenes to find that Odds is an electronic simulacrum. Finding the scalp from the story’s beginning in her pocket, she is convinced to don it. When she does, it becomes an electronic connection, and she is on another world.

This world is Earth, where Melody is a scientist experimenting with a group of people (real equivalents to Metalman and Tiger and Scarecow). Now she has to relearn the stunning events that drove her to a world of fantasy.

About H. C. Turk

US United States

H. C. Turk is a writer, sound artist, and visual artist. His novels have been published by Villard and Tor. His short fiction has been published in theNewerYork, Gadfly, The New Bourgeois, LitUP, Nonlocal Science Fiction, Dirty Chai, Smashed Cat, Linguistic Erosion, Weirdyear, Monkey Bicycle, Streetcake, The New Post-Literate, Farther Stars, and The Chicago Review. His sound pieces, movies,...

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