Saturday, May 11, 2019

To award or not to award?

Reading of the Stokers being awarded tonight, and remembering the Edgars, it always makes the devout Sherlockian ponder why we don't have something similar in our field. There has been the Morley-Montgomery Award for articles published in The Baker Street Journal, of course, which ignores articles published elsewhere, regardless of their quality. And there is that thing where the shilling is awarded to people for being a certain vague sort of Sherlockian people every year, but beyond that?

Nada, unless I've really missed something.

I think a big part of the reason lies in the long-held disdain for any fiction featuring Sherlock Holmes that was not written by Conan Doyle. "Pastiche" was never a word used to describe anything kindly, almost including a haughty "Sniff!" in the pronunciation of the word itself.

But with more fiction being written about Sherlock Holmes, both professional and amateur in nature, it's getting hard to dismiss every last bit of it a unworthy of some recognition. And Conan Doyle, as good as he was, did not write for a 2019 audience. Someone writing skillfully of Sherlock Holmes and telling a first-class yarn at this point definitely deserves notice . . . and more readers,

Such an endeavor would surely have to start small, and come to be accepted over time, probably taking decades before reaching the esteem of other awards, in any case. And it could not be done to raise the status of the presenter, the greatest failing of so many awards. ("Hey, famous person! Come talk to me and I'll give you this award!") But if an effort could be made that brought all of Sherlockian written endeavors under one happy umbrella for even just a single evening, it would certainly be a delightful thing.

And that's what it would probably take to pull off such a thing: Bringing the many facets of Sherlock Holmes love together enough to coordinate judging/voting in our varied categories by those who knew and loved each field best. Is that just a pipe dream at this point? Can the cattle ranchers and the sheep herders be friends? (Sorry, old Western metaphors really sound stupid at this point, but they're still in my head, wanting out.)

Who knows? I hope we're moving toward a place where we can all accept that someone other than Conan Doyle wrote a tale of Sherlock Holmes that deserves the sort of recognition an award symbolizes. And maybe one day we'll see such a thing,

1 comment:

  1. I've had thoughts along the same lines these past few years!

    Something like a Golden Calabash pipe for the best/most enjoyable/most creative offering (of any genre)? Who would've won it this past year, I wonder? Sherlock Gnomes? Holmes & Watson?

    I've heard good things about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse's Mycroft and Sherlock, but haven't read it (it came out in 2018).

    Series 4 of BBC's Sherlock for 2017?

    Maybe for 2016, About Sixty: Why Every Sherlock Holmes Story is the Best? by John Taylor

    I'd nominate Mr. Holmes (with Ian McKellen) for 2015's

    And I really liked one from 2011, so I'll throw it in here too:
    Sherlock Holmes: The Rediscovered Railway Mysteries: and Other Stories from 2011