Today a very weird thing happened.
Back in mid-June there was an appellate court ruling that put Sherlock Holmes, as a character, into the public domain. And as a celebration of that ruling, I pre-ordered the book at the center of the case on Amazon, and wrote of it in this very blog.
The book was In the Company of Sherlock Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon, edited by Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger. It's original delivery date, according to Amazon, was going to be November 13th. Along the way, something changed and it arrived in the mail today, a full ten days early.
Also today, if you've been paying any attention to the Holmes-related news, the Supreme Court refused to hear a final appeal on the case, which effectively sets up the June decision as the status quo on the matter. On the same day the book that started it all arrived.
Now, I strongly doubt that Amazon has secret links to the Supreme Court, or influence over the timing of their decisions, so it makes for a very odd little piece of synchronicity. One has to go back to the words of Sir James Saunders in "The Blanched Soldier":
"Yes, Mr. Holmes, the coincidence is a remarkable one. But is it coincidence? Are there not subtle forces at work of which we know little?"
One has to wonder . . . especially when a genie like Sherlock Holmes has just been set loose upon the world.