Book Review: Shadows over Baker Street

edited by Michael Reaves and John Pelan. Featuring short stories by Neil Gaiman, Poppy Z Brite, Brian Stableford, Elizabeth Bear, and Caitlin R. Kiernan. Pub 2003, if you must know; I happened to read it in a timely manner with the new Sherlock Holmes movie coming out.

The premise of this book is Sherlock Holmes meets HP Lovecraft. If you like both, read no more – just order the book.

What if the world were a mystery, and not just a “whodunnit” mystery? What if the world were a WTF* mystery, with dark gods and awful things from other dimensions? Would Sherlock Holmes refuse to acknowledge them? Pfft. And you have to know Mycroft has been dealing with this stuff from the get-go.

Only one of the stories was less than memorable. Neil Gaiman’s story (“A Study in Emerald”) was about the royal families of Europe, which have been replaced with interbreeding Elder Gods; Elizabeth Bear’s story (“Tiger! Tiger!”) was a Rudyard Kipling pastiche with Irene Adler; Simon Clark’s story (“A Nightmare in Wax”) explores Moriarty’s true criminal purpose.

Sherlock Holmes first appeared in 1890 and ran until 1927. HP Lovecraft first started publishing in 1905, and didn’t start publishing the Cthulu mythos stories until 1925. (Einstein published his theory of Special Relativity in 1905.)

Coincidence?  I think not.  Also, perhaps the director will raid some of these stories for a SH sequel.

*What the Fuck – as in, “WTF is going on here, anyway?” See Gene Wolfe for numerous examples.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top