Monday, October 26, 2015

Sherlock Holmes and monsters, again.

Boy, you have one book with one demon hound and you get typecast . . . .

Really. Fifty-nine stories solving mysteries that didn't include murder all that much -- odd hiring practices, issues with the spouse, the occasional criminal genius to be dealt with -- those are the things Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson spent almost all of their time on. And yet, the two encounter one . . . ONE . . . demonic canine, which they almost immediately debunk, and what do we get?

Sherlock Holmes meets Dracula.

Sherlock Holmes versus zombies.

Sherlock Holmes against Cthulhu's cousin Cthwurds in the Cave of the Waxen Ghost Goblins.

People just don't seem to get that Sherlock isn't Fox Mulder. He doesn't "want to believe." He's the of Victorian England, the literary Myth-busters, the guy that sets the world back to its default settings. And yet, once a horror monster passes it's prime, somebody always wants to put the creature against Sherlock Holmes, have Sherlock go, "Wow, there really are weird things!" and let that poor old beastie feel vindicated since the famous Sherlock Holmes allowed for its existence.

And now that Clive Barker's Hellraiser Cenobites are nearly thirty years old, it looks like they're going to get to join the "Sherlock admits I exist!" club, in an upcoming book called Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell. Are they beating Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees to get their mid-life Sherlock validation? Could be . . . there are so many pastiches these days, and fanfic beyond that, that surely they've run across each other somewhere. The Cenobites just got the official nod for commercial publication.

As much as Holmes version actual supernatural foes makes no sense from a strictly Holmes purist point of view, though, one can see why creators are drawn to pitting him against larger-than-life horrors: Sherlock Holmes looms too large himself to seem a fair match for any mere murderer. At this point even serial killers don't seem quite an even match for the Master of all Detectives.

So can the Cenobite "servants of Hell" provider an adequate match for him?

I dunno, but I really hope they don't get their hands on Watson.


  1. (many) years ago I worried that someday we would see 'Sherlock Holmes & The Creature From The Black Lagoon - but really - I was just KIDDING!

  2. For an excellent "monster" fic that remains true to Holmesian reality--firmly planted on the ground, that is--read: The Halloween Party, by XistentialAngst, It's also got fabulous sex, with BAMF!John and gorgeous!Sherlock, each maintaining the essentials of their characters in a most convincing, well-written, and humorous story.