|Now||2023||Previous||Articles||Road Essays||Road Reviews||Author||Black Authors||Title||Source||Age||Genre||Series||Format||Inclusivity||LGBTA||Portfolio||Artwork||WIP|
Sky Island: 01/08/21
Sky Island by L. Frank Baum is the second Trot & Cap'n Bill novel. Button Bright also makes an appearance, arriving on a magical umbrella, which brings to mind the umbrellas that hold up and entirely different floating island in Speedy in Oz by by Ruth Plumly Thompson (1934). While I was hoping for a first glimpse of the island Speedy visited, what I got was something entirely different.
Button Bright ends up inviting Trot and Bill on a flight. They plan to go to "Sky Island" an island off the La Jolla coast, which is probably San Clemente. The umbrella is a stickler for accuracy, not intention, and takes them instead to a floating island high up in the sky, thus "Sky Island."
On one side are the Blues. They're run by a cheating tyrant whose reign should be over by law. He has hidden the book that keeps track of how long he's been on the throne, to prevent his successor for taking over. This bit is rather similar, albeit simplified, to Trump's shenanigans.
On the other side are the Pinks, a matriarchal society that shows Baum's racist views. The woman with the lightest pink skin gets to be the queen regardless of any other qualifications. Trot by dint of being a sunburned white girl ends up becoming queen.
In the Sea Fairies (1911) I mentioned how bratty Trot is and how proudly ignorant Bill is. They are the polar opposites of Dorothy and the Wizard. Yes, the Wizard was a conman but he made the effort to make himself better. There is no redemption arc for Trot or Bill. Trot becoming Queen of the Pinks (and then ruler of the Blues through conquest) is not a good thing, even if it results in a way for the three of them to go home.
Sky Island like all the Oz books I've read so far, sits on the road narrative spectrum. The three, protected by fairy magic, even before Trot conquers both the Pinks and Blues, are privileged travelers (00). Their destination, an unknown to them (or any other Earthling, I'd hazard to guess) is utopia (FF). Their route is a metaphorical interstate or railroad (00) in the form of the umbrella that takes you to where you state and doesn't change course until that destination is reached. Thus Sky Island can be categorized as a tale of privileged travelers going to utopia via the interstate (FF00FF).