The Hawkline Monster

Scarecrows are cool. Of course, it’s obvious why I like them if you know I’m a big L. Frank Baum fan. The Oz series actually had loads of characters like that: Jack Pumpkinhead, Scraps the Patchwork Girl (has anyone ever shipped her and the Scarecrow? Because that would be awesome) etc. They were always my favourites. And I suppose stuff like the Tin Man and Tick-Tock influenced my love of steampunk.

The thing about the Scarecrow is that he’s the most likeable character, even more than the Tin Man. This was pointed out in Geoff Ryman’s great if harrowing novel Was, and I realised it was completely true. The Tin Man may be so kind he even cries after killing insects, but the Scarerow’s niceness, clumsiness and infectious grin is instantly endearing. It is interesting that despite how he is meant to be the Spock of the group, he just doesn’t seem…

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