Dr. Oz of Z-Industries Synopsis: Lyman B. Frank leaves band practice one dark and stormy night. On his way home, a truck runs a red light and smashes into his car. After the horrific accident, Lyman wakes up in a strange, dead world full of terrifying creatures the locals call Somnies.
As he searches for answers, he learns of a man named Dr. Oz that might be able to help him return home. So, he sets out to find him. Along the way, he gains some companions who also seek help from Dr. Oz.
Together, they make their way to Z-Industries, but with malevolent creatures consumed by a hunger for flesh hot on the trail, can they make it to Dr. Oz before it’s too late. –Goodreads
Dr. Oz of Z-Industries
This was an interesting short story. It was obvious from the moment I saw the name that it was going to be a Wizard of Oz re-telling, but from my experience reading some of the author’s other short stories, beyond ‘probably dark’ I had no clue what direction this would go in.
Dr. Oz of Z-Industries has a touch of absurdity requiring suspension of belief a bit beyond what is usually expected. Given the source material, the absurdity is not necessarily a bad thing nor is it drastically out of place. I found myself quite intrigued by what I was reading, and trying to figure out who the main character was supposed to represent. When that question was finally answered, I sat back and nodded in satisfaction at a well-played hand. While the expected characters do make an appearance, some of them will quite surprise you and the representations are nicely different from their portrayals in the source material.
However, while this retelling is deliciously dark, I would hesitate to classify it as horror. Even though we do see a representation of a typical horror monster within it, the tension that generally comes with such a read is decidedly absent. I would say this is more of a ‘dark fantasy’ than anything, so if you go into it expecting something scary you may be disappointed.
Overall, this journey down the yellow brick road, at just over 70 pages, is worth a look-see if you like your re-tellings a bit dark and twisted.