Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Cry "Havoc!" and loose the Hound of the moor!

Man, this is the year.

It was one thing for our friend Sherlock to be catapulted back into center stage with movies and television hits of the last couple of years, but now our fandom issues are making The New York Times?

The March 6 article by Jennifer Schuessler starts with the Les Klinger lawsuit story, which has been everywhere, but then it starts digging deeper. And familiar names start popping up, with no holds barred.

Christopher Roden calling an article by Philip Shreffler "bigoted and pigheaded" in The New York Times? Good lord, would my old pal Bob have enjoyed this! And Jon Lellenberg's squabbles with the B.S.I. leadership outed in a major newspaper? Betsy Rosenblatt stating that some Sherlockians are "pretty darn old people?" What's next? An expose of Elementary's fraudulent Holmes reported in Time magazine? No, wait, that's not fan-related. That's just me wishfully thinking.

The "Free Sherlock" lawsuit has taken our little fandom to a whole new level for its fifteen minutes. Sure, one of the people above was once kinda-sorta indirectly accused of Sherlockian murder by an article in The New Yorker, no names were mentioned (other than B.S.I. investitures, and those are a secret, right?). But an article in some very-limited run fan publication being cited as evidence of a plot to keep new fans in check? Oh, we're having some fun now.

In the small community that Sherlock Holmes fandom has traditionally been, asinine behavior by grumpy old farts was always just something we tolerated. What were you going to do, write a letter to the journal that comes out every four months to complain and get the geezer's buddies after you? But this is a new day, with new modes of communication, and the word of something particularly silly spreads fast and far. Shreffler's offending article probably had a larger readership than anything he wrote about Sherlock Holmes prior to this year.

It's a crazy year to be a Sherlockian. And this is just March.


  1. Imagine my delight at being a panelist talking about the BSI at 221B Con this April...when I volunteered for the topic I never thought I'd be covering breaking news!

  2. Shreffler's offending article probably had a larger readership than everything he wrote about Sherlock Holmes prior to this year put together.

    FTFY. :-)