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News & Request for Recommendations


** So NASA is holding a special televised news conference on Monday "to discuss the Chandra X-ray Observatory's discovery of an exceptional object in our cosmic neighborhood." Now that sounds interesting. Hmmm.


** Thanks to the brilliant Sherlock, I've decided to correct my heretofore scattershot and disorganized reading of Arthur Conan Doyle's Holmes works by reading through them all in their original order of publication. I'm two novels into this project now and enjoying myself quite a bit. I'll probably use this as an excuse to revisit the Professor Challenger stories, too. (I love The Poison Belt!)

I wanted to ask you, my friends, for recommendations of Holmes pastiches. I know that the field is vast, and I want to sample the best (and leave the rest). I'm particularly interested in those that lean toward science fiction and speculative literature, as opposed to straight mystery. Neil Gaiman's "A Study in Emerald" is one of my favorite short stories of all time, and I need to read all of Shadows over Baker Street. I've noted that Sherlock Holmes in Orbit, The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Gaslight Grimoire, and Gaslight Grotesque all seem like good starting places. As for the subgenre of Sherlock Holmes versus Jack the Ripper fiction, I gather that Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson is the novel most respected by scholars of "Ripperology."

Do you have any suggestions for me?


** In other news, I'm quite intrigued by the new official trailer for 2011's Jane Eyre, starring Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench, and Alice in Wonderland's Mia Wasikowska as Jane. It looks like the film may emphasize the gothic aspects of the story, rather than just focusing on the period romance. If so, that's very refreshing. I look forward to seeing it.


** Happy early birthday wishes to adamantrealm, sneezythesquid, bibliotrope, and m_stiefvater. May you enjoy many happy returns of the day!


"I had no idea that such individuals exist outside of stories."
- Dr. Watson, A Study in Scarlet, Arthur Conan Doyle

Comments

( 42 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
crazywritergirl
Nov. 13th, 2010 04:52 pm (UTC)
Edward B. Hanna's WHITECHAPEL HORRORS. It's even footnoted (grin).
eldritchhobbit
Nov. 15th, 2010 03:25 pm (UTC)
Wonderful! I see there's a copy available at BookMooch now, so I'm going to go for it. Thanks so much for the suggestion. It's just the kind of thing I was looking for.
eldritchhobbit
Nov. 15th, 2010 03:24 pm (UTC)
This is fantastic! I'm going to look these up immediately. Thanks so much for the recommendations.
whswhs
Nov. 13th, 2010 05:32 pm (UTC)
There's a Poul Anderson story that involves a detective on another planet investigating a childstealing. I think it was titled "The Queen of Air and Darkness." And there's an earlier story that got into Boucher's Treasure, "The Martian Crown Jewels," though to my mind it's rather slighter, being closer to pure pastiche.
eldritchhobbit
Nov. 15th, 2010 03:25 pm (UTC)
Excellent! I'll look these up immediately. Thanks so much for your help.
lisa_marli
Nov. 13th, 2010 07:35 pm (UTC)
Don't forget Dorothy Sayers on Holmes from the Mythopoeic Press. Wonderful articles from her on Holmes and it ends with her short story in which Lord Peter meets Holmes.
Unfortunately, it is currently out of print, but hopefully you have a copy someplace.
Hey it's by us, you know it's good. ;)
eldritchhobbit
Nov. 15th, 2010 03:28 pm (UTC)
Hey it's by us, you know it's good. ;)

Absolutely! :) Thanks a million for reminding me. How could I forget? I'll definitely plan to track this down.
reynardine
Nov. 13th, 2010 07:43 pm (UTC)
I remember THE SEVEN PERCENT SOLUTION by Nicholas Meyer being pretty good. (He wrote the script for the movie version as well.) He did two other Holmes books: THE CANARY TRAINER and THE WEST END HORROR, but I haven't read those myself.
eldritchhobbit
Nov. 15th, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC)
Excellent! I'm going to look this up. It's just the kind of thing I was looking for. Thanks!
scribblerworks
Nov. 16th, 2010 06:35 pm (UTC)
I was definitely going to recommend Meyer's books, particularly The Seven Percent Solution if nobody else did.
eldritchhobbit
Nov. 17th, 2010 02:13 pm (UTC)
Great! That's at the top of my list. Thanks so much!
belleferret
Nov. 13th, 2010 10:59 pm (UTC)
I'm not normally a huge Sherlock fan, but I adore the BBC series!
eldritchhobbit
Nov. 15th, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC)
Yay! Another Sherlock fan! Isn't it brilliant?
wiredwizard
Nov. 14th, 2010 12:06 am (UTC)
Shadows Over Baker Street looks good.
eldritchhobbit
Nov. 15th, 2010 03:35 pm (UTC)
I'm anxious to read the entire thing cover to cover.
wiredwizard
Nov. 16th, 2010 04:39 am (UTC)
Me too, as soon as I get a copy. One more title on the To Get list.
penfold_x
Nov. 14th, 2010 02:11 am (UTC)
I ordered Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson last week (Amazon still hasn't delivered--the price of super-saver, alas). I'll let you know if I enjoy it.
eldritchhobbit
Nov. 15th, 2010 03:35 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! I'd love to know your thoughts on it.
ravenskyewalker
Nov. 15th, 2010 02:28 am (UTC)
Pardon my intrusion; I read this via FriendsFriends.

I was a Granada Holmes fan; Jeremy Brett was my Holmes. However, I never read all of canon until this year -- partly inspired by the adoration over modern "Sherlock." Now, because I can't seem to get Holmes out of my head, I'm reading pastiches, too. :-)

While "A Study in Emerald" is brilliant, Shadows Over Baker Street was oddly disappointing. There were several good stories, but my reaction was, overall, "Meh." You may decide differently, though.

I liked the three books that Nicholas Meyer wrote; I see someone has listed those.

Oh dear... if you want a Jack the Ripper Holmes story, you could risk reading Michael Dibdin's The Last Sherlock Holmes Story, which is cleverly evil. It will make you want to hurt the author, but he died a few years ago, so too late. :-/

I'm still hunting down Sherlockian books, myself, so this is merely scratching the surface.
whswhs
Nov. 15th, 2010 05:29 am (UTC)
I liked Laurie King's The Beekeeper's Apprentice (though she got the pre-decimal British currency all wrong!), but when the sequels went all Mary Sue I stopped following her.
eldritchhobbit
Nov. 15th, 2010 03:41 pm (UTC)
That's very good to know (both about the first being good and the latter ones slipping down the "Mary-Sue slope"). I'll mark it down. Thanks so much!
(Deleted comment)
eldritchhobbit
Nov. 15th, 2010 03:40 pm (UTC)
No intrusion at all: welcome! It's great to see you here.

I've watched many, though not all, of the Granada Holmes episodes and quite enjoyed them, too. I'm glad I'm not the only one inspired to return to the literature by the new Sherlock.

That's disappointing to here that Shadows over Baker Street doesn't hold up as an anthology. I'm definitely going to try the Nicholas Meyer books. Thanks! Oh dear, it sounds like Dibdin's novel is a "hurt so good" kind of affair. "Cleverly evil" sounds right up my alley, though, so I think I may have to give it a whirl. ;)

Thanks so much for your help!
mmarques
Nov. 15th, 2010 03:18 am (UTC)
I love "Sherlock" and heard that there will actually be some more episodes.

Have you ever seen any of the Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes? They're pretty funny in being the loosest of interpretations. Especially when the Nazis are included.

I haven't read many pastiches, but I've heard good things about June Thompson's books. However, they're rare and sometimes hard to track down.
sittingduck1313
Nov. 15th, 2010 01:39 pm (UTC)
Tragically, it's the Rathbone/Bruce Holmes the average shmendrick on the street thinks about when they hear the name Sherlock Holmes.
eldritchhobbit
Nov. 15th, 2010 03:49 pm (UTC)
Unfortunate, indeed.
eveningblue
Sep. 2nd, 2011 12:12 am (UTC)
FWIW, on the dvd commentary Gatiss/Moffatt said they were greatly inspired by these, because they wanted to do something similar (I take it these movies were set in 1940s [what was then contemporary] London).
eldritchhobbit
Sep. 4th, 2011 01:29 pm (UTC)
That's true. The "restoring" of the stories to a contemporary setting is about all I can applaud in those (ha!), but I'm so glad Gatiss and Moffatt went with the same plan, in the spirit of the original texts!
eldritchhobbit
Nov. 15th, 2010 03:48 pm (UTC)
I can't wait for the new Sherlock episodes!

I've seen only bits and pieces of the Basil Rathbone version. (Most of my experience pre-Sherlock was with Jeremy Brett.) Nazis? Oh my... \o/

I appreciate the heads up re: the June Thompson books. I'll look them up immediately. That's just the kind of recommendation I was hoping for. Thanks!
beledibabe
Nov. 17th, 2010 08:44 pm (UTC)
At the risk of appearing to blow my own horn, I have a pastiche in the latest issue of Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, and another -- "The Adventure of the Haunted Bagpipes" -- will appear in the next issue.

Just so you know, y'know? ::g;:
eldritchhobbit
Nov. 17th, 2010 08:50 pm (UTC)
SQUEE! I am such a newbie, I wasn't aware. I am so grateful that you told me. I just love your fiction. Thank you!!! *runs off to track this magazine down*
eldritchhobbit
Nov. 17th, 2010 08:51 pm (UTC)
PS. I highly approve of your icon. *nods*
beledibabe
Nov. 17th, 2010 08:58 pm (UTC)
eldritchhobbit
Nov. 18th, 2010 12:48 pm (UTC)
Wonderful! Thanks so much. 'Tis ordered, and I'm looking forward to it. Might you post a reminder in your LJ for us absent-minded folk when the next issue is available for pre-order? ;)

eldritchhobbit
Apr. 28th, 2011 11:47 am (UTC)
Brava!
Well done, you! I loved "The Adventure of the Elusive Emeralds"! It was a really good mystery, but what I liked most was the characterization you brought to it. The almost May-December wistfulness/admiration of Watson's interaction with the dowager duchess (on both sides of that equation) was incredibly poignant. I really liked when Watson got indignant at one of Sherlock's offhand slights, and Holmes actually backtracked and put a gentler "spin" on what he said. And I was unexpectedly relieved to know Sheppington wasn't the waste of protoplasm he'd been reputed to be, but rather quite a self-sacrificing hero in his own way. All that's to say that I really enjoyed it, and I loved how crisp and authentic your ACD-esque voice is. "Haunted Bagpipes" is next! Kudos to you.
beledibabe
Apr. 29th, 2011 12:52 am (UTC)
Re: Brava!
Thank you so much, dear! As someone who appreciates and enjoys your Sherlock stories, your praise means a lot to me!
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 29th, 2011 09:43 am (UTC)
Re: Brava!
Well, I'm back with more. :) "The Adventure of the Haunted Bagpipes" was truly chilling. Literally. I got chills. It was fantastic! Knox has to be one of the most frightening villains around: his "I propose to rid the country of that burden" is so calm and calculating, as if he's not talking about exterminating people. It was wonderfully dastardly to have him threaten to use the men as his first experimental subjects. (Especially after the visual image of those poor plague victims tied naked to the chairs.) And the whole atmosphere of menace was ratcheted up a notch, rather than eased, at the end thanks to Holmes's "I glimpsed a malevolent force behind Knox's actions. A presence I thought was checked." If Moriarty's behind this... man oh man. I always love that breathtaking sense that whatever we've just seen, however bad, is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg, and that's just what I got here. Terrific stuff.

Will you be writing more Holmes stories? I really, really hope so. *fingers crossed*

Edited at 2011-04-29 09:45 am (UTC)
cookiefleck
Nov. 21st, 2010 02:57 pm (UTC)
Wanted to recommend to you that you read these stories written in a Holmes/Watson style but featuring Baggins and Gamgee in the title roles. Very well done. My friend elderberrywine is on LJ but these stories are most easily accessible at this dreamwidth archive. Enjoy!

http://www.dreamwidth.org/tools/memories?user=elderberrywine&keyword=221B+Bag+End&filter=all
eldritchhobbit
Nov. 30th, 2010 05:21 pm (UTC)
Fantastic! Thank you so much. :D
(Anonymous)
Jan. 10th, 2012 05:19 pm (UTC)
have you read 'The Italian Secretary' by the great Caleb Carr? It's pretty good read too.
eldritchhobbit
Jan. 10th, 2012 05:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for this! It's in my stack, as a matter of fact, so I'll just move it a bit closer to the top. ;) I appreciate the rec.
( 42 comments — Leave a comment )

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