Sunday, February 9, 2020
Imagine, if you will, being a single mother with an obstreperous seven-year-old kid. One day you point out a man on the street and tell your son that he is a murderer. "Not just any old murderer, Denny... He's the murderer. Murderer Bill."
You explain that Bill kills children. Only bad ones, of course. So Denny has nothing to fear if he starts behaving.
What do you think would happen after that?
Well, I am pretty sure that one thing that would not happen is the Mayor putting a Mother of the Year medal around your neck. And that isn't what happens in this story.
But when, a few days later, Denny tells his Mom a lie, Murderer Bill shows up in his bedroom. Just a warning this time, but be careful.
So, what the hell is going on? Is Bill imaginary? Supernatural? Or did Mom actually arrange for someone to... Hmm.
This is an intriguing story.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
I admit to a prejudice against fan fiction, the attempt to add a new work to some other author's corpus. To make my best list such a story would pretty much have to be better than the original.
Pastiches, on the other hand, are a different animal.
While there are different interpretations of the word, I define a pastiche as a work that uses a previous author's work but doesn't attempt to reproduce it. A reboot, in other words. Television's Sherlock and Elementary both qualify, but you don't have to switch to modern times to qualify. My friend James Lincoln Warren's "Shikari," which imagines Dr. Watson as an agent of British Intelligence, is a perfect example.
This book contains examples of both categories, plus some modern stories with more or less reference to Doyle's character.
My favorite is solidly in the pastiche camp, with tongue firmly in cheek. Quite simply, Alan Grant has retold The Hound of the Baskervilles as it might have appeared through social media.
Dr. John Watson has shared a link to the London Meteorological Serivce - Likelihood of Severe Fog: 90%.
* The Hound likes this.
* Sherlock Holmes does not like this.
Very silly. Very enjoyable.
My other favorite in this book was "By Any Other Name," by Michael Dirda, a clever example of the "Great Game," scholarship that assumes Holmes was real. But, alas, it is not a crime story, so it does not qulaify here.