There is more going on in the Sherlockian world today than ever before, and like Ferris Bueller said, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
As someone who lost enthusiasm for reading pastiches long ago, I don't stop to take notice of too many these days, as they seem to be flowing around us in an endless river. When a friend writes one, or an author I'm already fond of goes for it, I'll dip a paw into the river and swoop up a literary salmon, being an old bear about such things. But in general I don't stop and take notice of most of it.
But last night I was fishing around for Watson podcast news and starting looking over the MX Publishing website, at which point I realized that The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories is on its twenty-first volume. And I'm not even sure if some of those have multiple books in them. In any case, that is a whole lot of books, something you could start collecting at this point and take some time gathering them all up and finding a shelf or two to put them on.
One could get into all the writers MX has had in that series, or that they help Undershaw, but it's almost like the Grand Canyon at this point -- you first have to just stop staring at the sheer massive wonder of the thing. It's almost like it's out there just challenging you to read the whole thing, like climbing Mount Everest for a reader. I mean, once I challenged myself to read all of Three Patch Podcast's fic recs for a single episode, and while that was a bit of a climb, I didn't think I'd die before making it all the way through. Looking at a twenty-one volume set starts giving you those kind of thoughts.
While the BSI Press has many more books under its belt at this point, their Manuscript series is still in its teens. And with many a page taken up by manuscript reproductions, it makes for a collecting/reading challenge as well, but The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories is still a lot more daunting.
For me, stumbling into the current state of the series was a little like seeing that little toddler nephew of a friend who grew to be a massive adult at some point when you weren't paying attention. One can't help but be taken aback, and taken aback so much that I stopped working on my Sunday night podcast and had to blog about it.
Congratulations to David Marcum and everyone at MX for pulling that off, and here's hoping it goes for many years to come.