The timing couldn't have been more perfect.
After opening up the spring Sherlockian season with a day at the Dayton symposium, I was just settling in and finishing up my contribution to Chris Redmond's next essay collection when three e-mails came in.
It seems I got on the three 221B Con panels I applied for this year, the familiar "Arthur Continuity Doyle" which I was on last year, "Moriarty's Network," and "Sherlock and John aboard Serenity."
The e-mails are already flying between my fellow panelists, and I'm excited about digging in.
Doyle's continuity has always been a Sherlockian cornerstone, and a panel 221B Con has had for several years, so finding a few fresh continuity issues to add to the traditional problems like Watson's wives and wounds will be fun. An article I recently sent in for the next issue of The Watsonian will definitely come up.
Connecting Moriarty with all of the pre-1891 cases that he isn't specifically mentioned in will be some good Canonical fun as well, a panel that may have been inspired by the Granada series connecting "Red-Headed League" to Moriarty. Who knows how much of Holmes's work led him to sense that network was out there before he had a name to put on it?
And then there's the panel that attracted the most panelists of the three: "Sherlock and John aboard Serenity." This one spins directly out of a Twitter conversation where some of us were trying to decide which characters on the show Firefly would Sherlock and John be if they were in that world. Since one of my favorite mental games has always been deciding which of my co-workers were which character on Gilligan's Island or other shows, I'm well prepared for this "human metaphors" sort of thought experiment.
And having just finished the essay I mentioned earlier for Chris Redmond's upcoming "Sherlock Holmes is like . . ." collection, it seems like comparing Holmes to similar characters might be a genre of Sherlockiana that's growing with the massive amount of new characters we've seen coming into fiction's land in the past few decades. ("Sherlock is like Spock" is the first one I remember. Anyone remember any earlier ones?)
The road to 221B Con starts a long time before one gets into a car to head for the interstate or airport to go to Atlanta, and for me, it's definitely begun.