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March Laumer

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March Laumer (17 August 1923 – 12 January 2000) was a prolific author in the genre that has sometimes been called Alternate Oz, which takes extreme liberties with the traditional Oz literature.

Born in Florida, Laumer served in the U.S. Marines in World War II and spent most of his maturity studying, teaching, traveling, and living abroad, most notably in Lund, Sweden and in Hong Kong, the two cities where most of his works were published. His brother Keith Laumer was a prolific science fiction writer; the two collaborated on an Oz book, Beenie in Oz.

March Laumer's Oz books include:

Laumer sets himself apart from almost all other writers on Oz, in that his books are for adults rather than children. His prose makes no concessions to child readers; his vocabulary is polysyllabic, and he provides frequent literary allusions and references to popular culture. His child characters can be odd, unrealistic, and unsympathetic.

Laumer footnotes his works with references to Oz books, including his own, some of which were never published and perhaps never written: The Great Map of Oz, The Tiny Piglets of Oz, A Swede in Oz, etc. Laumer exploited characters from most earlier Oz writers, ignoring problems of copyright violation in so doing. He was never sued for his depredations; as a noncommercial writer, he was likely small and obscure enough to pass beneath the horizon.

Laumer and Chris Dulabone produced an adaptation of Alexander Volkov's The Yellow Fog (1986). Laumer also adapted Volkov's Seven Kings of the Underground into The Underground Kings of Oz (1993). He incorporates Volkovian influences into his own Oz works.

Laumer wrote some literary works that have nothing to do with Oz. He also wrote nonfiction pieces on the benefits of a salt-free diet (also a plot point in his "Beenie of Oz").

References

  • Paul S. Ritz, "Remembering March Laumer," The Baum Bugle, Vol. 44 No. 1 (Spring 2000), p. 11.

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