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Author Topic: PC287: Tiktok And The Nome King  (Read 3949 times)
Ocicat
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« on: November 21, 2013, 11:15:35 AM »

PodCastle 287: Tiktok And The Nome King

by L. Frank Baum

Read by Bob Eccles

Originally published in Little Wizard Stories of Oz, but you can read it at Tiger Tales!

The Nome King was unpleasantly angry. He had carelessly bitten his tongue at breakfast and it still hurt; so he roared and raved and stamped around in his underground palace in a way that rendered him very disagreeable.

It so happened that on this unfortunate day Tiktok, the Clockwork Man, visited the Nome King to ask a favor. Tiktok lived in the Land of Oz, and although he was an active and important person, he was made entirely of metal. Machinery within him, something like the works of a clock, made him move; other machinery made him talk; still other machinery made him think.

Although so cleverly constructed, the Clockwork Man was far from perfect. Three separate keys wound up his motion machinery, his speech works, and his thoughts. One or more of these contrivances was likely to run down at a critical moment, leaving poor Tiktok helpless. Also some of his parts were wearing out, through much use, and just now his thought machinery needed repair. The skillful little Wizard of Oz had tinkered with Tiktok’s thoughts without being able to get them properly regulated, so he had advised the Clockwork Man to go to the Nome King and secure a new set of springs, which would render his thoughts more elastic and responsive


Rated G. It's Oz from the original author.

Listen to this week’s PodCastle!
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 09:28:57 AM by Talia » Logged
Fenrix
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2013, 11:46:40 AM »

Happy 75th Anniversary of the motion picture that installed the wonder of Oz in every heart.

Also, should I state for the record, that I am the Nome King Under the Mountain?
« Last Edit: November 21, 2013, 11:49:44 AM by Fenrix » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2013, 12:13:51 PM »

Harrumph. I was here a few hours ago and there was no thread.

Anyway, when I saw the title and author of this episode something clicked in the back of my mind. It took a while but I eventually remembered that I had read this back when I was 7 or 8 and had just discovered Oz. That might have been the first time I sat down and consciously tried to absorb everything there was about a certain universe. I drew the line at anything not written by Baum (in later years I expanded this a little bit, but I still like Baum's work the best).
It was fun to revisit this little nugget, and Bob's reading was, of course, above and beyond the call of duty.
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Procyon
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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2013, 08:56:09 AM »

I have to admit it was hard at first for me to reconcile this blustering buffoon version of the Nome King with the domineering, calculating one from the Return to Oz movie. He reminded me a little of Scooby Doo -- even with a "ruh-roh" moment after he broke TikTok. But by the end I was right there with him, sympathizing with the poor li'l guy who just has a short fuse sometimes. And the rock-monster nome king was happily segregated off in his own little 80's universe.

The story itself might have been a little too slapstick for me to desperately want to seek out more original Oz books, but I'm glad to have experienced this tiny tidbit of that universe.
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2013, 09:05:17 AM »

Nice! I have only ever read the original The Wizard of Oz and never delved any further into the other works. I didn't even know they existed until I was well into my adulthood, and by then, Xanth was more my style than Oz.

Maybe I was too hasty. This made me want to sample some of the other stuff.
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Fenrix
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2013, 09:10:00 AM »

Project Gutenberg has a lot of electronic documents for Baum and Oz including the original illustrated plates (including ones for this story like the one below). http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/42



The film version of Return to Oz is way darker than the source material (books 2 and 3 of the Oz series). It doesn't start with Dorothy running away from a clinic applying shock treatment to her because of her wild fantasies.

I also have found that Oz has aged far better than Xanth. I find Oz innocent and fantastic, whereas I find Xanth juvenile (and kinda creepery).
« Last Edit: November 22, 2013, 09:17:34 AM by Fenrix » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2013, 03:30:50 PM »

In the introduction to this story, I neglected to mention that Bob Eccles has an eBook collection of short stories out now called Tiny Terrrors. Probably a little bit darker than this story Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2013, 12:24:03 PM »

Had probably one of the worst weeks ever, and then I listened to this story, and I actually felt tons better. I didn't know I needed this, but man, I needed this.

This was so much fun. I'll be honest and say that I haven't actually read any of Baum's stuff. I was absolutely horrified of The Wizard of Oz when I was little, and just never put the book on that high of a priority. I am so changing that, now. Thanks PodCastle!

(I actually still love Xanth. Puns!)
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InfiniteMonkey
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« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2013, 01:43:36 AM »

No one said anything, but I noticed that Escape Pod also reached into the Way-Back machine for a story this week.

This was certainly charming enough. Makes we wish more (in this steampunk CGI era) had been/could be done with Oz. Certainly Tiktok is steampunk.

Never saw Return to Oz when it came out (it was widely panned).
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Ocicat
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« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2013, 05:08:44 AM »

Discussions of Xanth / Piers Anthony / Spell for Chameleon have been ruthlessly cut and sent off to their own discussion thread.  Further discussion of those topics should be sent over there.

Here's the Tiktok relevant portion of Danooli's original post:

What fun!

I don't have much to say about the story, I'm a big Baum fan so, I will always love stories in Oz.  The narration made it even more fun Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2013, 08:56:49 AM »

Discussions of Xanth / Piers Anthony / Spell for Chameleon have been ruthlessly cut and sent off to their own discussion thread.  Further discussion of those topics should be sent over there.

Here's the Tiktok relevant portion of Danooli's original post:

What fun!

I don't have much to say about the story, I'm a big Baum fan so, I will always love stories in Oz.  The narration made it even more fun Smiley

Thanks Ocicat! Sorry I fouled up the thread :-)
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Sgarre1
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« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2013, 02:24:45 PM »

No foul-up.  This is standard practice to forestall thread drift.
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Fenrix
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« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2013, 07:24:51 PM »

I think folks could get the impression from my comments that I dislike the Return to Oz movie. I like it in the same way I like Pumpkinhead that ran over on PseudoPod. It catches a lot of the style, but is incredibly creepy and dark. It's not as magical as the film translation of the first book.

I've also never seen a film "remake" of the Wizard of Oz that I've enjoyed. The Muppet version, while maintaining a closer adaptation to the book, was rather horrifying (do we really need a Girls Gone Wild joke in a kids movie?) I've read a good graphic novel adaptation, and the entire Oz series lends itself well to that form. I've checked out a couple of these from the library and can recommend them: https://www.goodreads.com/series/77696-marvel-s-oz-comics-series
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« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2013, 01:55:21 AM »

No foul-up.  This is standard practice to forestall thread drift.
So, if we're not drift-compatible you just prune us out?
(Sorry, couldn't resist)
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Devoted135
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« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2013, 12:45:50 PM »

I haven't read any of the Oz books, though of course I enjoy the classic movie. This was a fun, almost slap-stick story though it didn't feel particularly "Oz-like" to me. I guess that's because there was only one cursory mention of anything having to do with parts of the source material I'm familiar with? Anyway, that didn't take away from the story, and of course the reading was fantastic.
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« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2013, 11:46:38 AM »

I don't remember whether I read this as a kid or not, though I know I read some of the other Oz stories.  I was interested throughout, I especially thought the details about Tiktok were interesting, the three winding mechanisms that ran different parts of him.  In the end I thought back, and it seemed that not a lot of plot happened--guy lost temper, broke Tiktok, then someone else fixed him, the end.  But I was interested enough as it was going, and I can't be as critical of a kid's story that I would undoubtedly have been enthralled with as a kid.
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Jen
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« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2013, 04:14:05 AM »

I read the Wizard of Oz when I was a kid, but I was never a big Oz fan, and I never saw the movies. So... at least this story was short? I might have liked this at age 10, but I didn't find anything compelling about it now.
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« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2013, 08:23:04 PM »

The reading was good, but I just couldn't get into the actual story. I think that it's because I'm not a very big Oz fan. I avoided watching the movie Wizard of Oz because it seemed like it wouldn't be interesting. A lion in need of courage and a robot that needed a heart? BORRRRRRINNNNG!

My first introduction to the world of Oz was the movie "Return to Oz" which I watched at 1am in college while... well, lets just say I was in an altered state of being. After that (years later) I read the book Wicked. Wicked sparked my interest because it seemed so raw and I thought... whoa I really need to check out the original work. Maybe Baum was misrepresented in the movie. I read the Wizard of Oz and I saw the movie, but sadly, I just can't get into it.
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« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2013, 06:09:50 PM »

The only other Oz I've read is Ozma of Oz, which is great. I spent a good bit of this story trying to work out if it came before or after Ozma, chronologically. I think either could work.
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« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2013, 09:19:03 AM »

I had only three Oz books as a kid (remnants of my mother's own childhood): The Wizard of Oz, The Marvelous Land of Oz, and Rinkitink in Oz.  Of those, by far and away my favorite was Rinkitink, because the titular character was one of those indestructible chaotic neutral types a la Tom Bombadil and had an irascible goat sidekick.  I always gravitated toward the dour and pessimistic characters in my children's books, like Eeyore and Puddleglum, so this one had pretty much everything I could ask for.  The requisite imperiled child protagonist I considered largely irrelevant.

The Nome King was the bad guy in Rinkitink, too, and was much more of the irritable and selfish mold shown in this story.  (It did make it hard for me to sympathize with him at all; his status as cruel opponent was long ingrained in my head.)
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