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Alexander Jablokov

The Crying Game-like discovery that Tip is really a girl was a searing experience in my young reading life. Because Tip really was a boy, a male, from a writer whose male characters were typically old, ineffectual, partially to entirely mechanical, or all three. And this boy whose life I was vicariously inhabiting was really...a girl? The book was just sitting there innocently on a shelf, not signaling anything about its cruel content. How fluid is your identity, anyway?

Jinjur, on the other hand, was a babe: pretty, a snappy dresser, decisive, high maintenance, and easily bored. Particularly due to the Gibson-Girlish way Neill drew her, I had a crush on her. Of course, having her chained up by Glinda's Rockette Stormtoopers at the end was as good as it gets in Oz.

Neither Tip nor Jinjur were part of the future, as far as the books were concerned. If I were to do Oz fanfic, I'd start with them.

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