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Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Last week my mother alerted me to an intersection of the far reaches of two orthogonal hobbies: crochet and Oz fanfiction.

Chain Link is the newsletter of the Crochet Guild of America. It’s eight pages, two-color printing, bound inside subscriber copies of the guild’s Crochet! magazine. I assume that it’s not included in copies of the magazine sold in stores.

The summer 2012 issue of Chain Link includes Karen C. K. Ballard’s review of The Crocheted Cat in Oz, by Hugh Pendexter III. Published in 1991, this is one of the many latter-day Oz stories written by fans for other fans.

In her review Ballard quickly and accurately catches readers up on much that came out of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, including the authorized series, significant differences between book and movie, and even the end of Gregory Maguire’s series. Nonetheless, it’s a “plumber’s review,” paying close attention to matters of needlework, from the Patchwork Girl to lace on costumes in the Wicked traveling show.

Pendexter’s book attracted Ballard only because it was about a crocheted character. She’s probably correct in suspecting that the title character was a favorite toy of the author’s granddaughter. That’s the problem with the intersection of fandoms: the number of people entralled by both is small.

TOMORROW: The mystery L. Frank Baum left us.

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