Sunday, February 3, 2013
A Scandal in Bohemia, by Terence Faherty
This is embarassing. I am in danger of being labeled a Faherty fanboy.
For the first time since I started these reviews I am featuring the same author two weeks in a row. Is it my fault that Terence Faherty has stories in both AH and EQ, and that both are fine?
The title of the story is, no doubt, familiar. This is a pastiche of Sherlock Holmes, which brings me to an old rant. As I have said before some people use the word pastiche to mean a story about a character written by someone other than the original author. To me, that is something different (how about "fan fiction?").
I argue that to create a pastiche the author has to re-think the original stories in some way, not just add another one to the series. And a pastiche is not a parody either , which is simply making fun of the original. To use a popular recent term, a pastiche is a reboot.
Bringing us to Faherty. He begins by referring to "the recent discovery of the notebooks of Dr. John H. Watson," which allow us to see the rough draft of this famous story, including Watson's editorial notes to himself. The result is a hilarious fresh look at the "real" story of the famous partnership.
"And now to work. Are you willing to break a law or two and perhaps even land yourself in the jug?"
"In a just cause."
"We're helping a serial defiler of women recover evidence of same from a blackmailing prostitute, so you can work out the justness of our cause at your leisure. the venture does, however, ensure you an evening out of the house."
"Then I'm your man."