When I buy an collection or anthology I normally flit through the table of contents looking for authors or titles that intrigue me. What I normally do not do is read it from front to back. Often I do not finish every story, intending to come back later, but I have lots of books so this may or may not happen. I have followed Ralph E. Vaughan's blog Book Scribbles for many years and when I saw the post concerning this collection I purchased the book. It came, I read a few stories, and mentioned the purchase here.
Then some time ago I picked it up, started at the beginning reading to the end, and immediately purchased Sherlock Holmes: The Coils of Time and other stories, (these are not Lovecraftian, but Holmes does meet Wells or his universe in several really enjoyable stories), read it and purchased his out of print work, Sherlock Holmes, The Dreaming Detective from ABE. So I guess you can say I liked the first book.
I am not sure if kids still do, but when I began reading books from the library, the Doyle stories were among the first I read. "The Hound of the Baskervilles" I read while alone in the house and it was scary and atmospheric. A great discussion of the stories can be found in Michael Dirda fun and informative book On Conan Doyle, which covers all of Doyle's work, not just the Holmes Stories.
I loved the original stories, but as with Lovecraft I also got into the world of Holmes pastiches, a vast landscape. A number of years ago I decided to read all the Holmes pastiches, novels and collections held by the Calgary Public Library. It took many months, there were a lot, he went everywhere, some stories were good, some bad. I remember a particularly long and unhappy encounter with the Giant Rat of Sumatra. So I know my pseudo Holmes stories. And Holmes has meet the Lovecraft Mythos in a number of stories and anthologies. One of the most well known is probably Shadows over Baker Street, which contains the best ever Holmes Lovecraft mish mash "A Study in Emerald" by Neil Gaiman, I cannot describe it you must read it. But as always with works of this kind (Lovecraftian or not) the quality of the collection overall was uneven. Still a good read.
This is not to say that all Vaughan's stories are gems, some are better than others, but the quality is quite high and I like what he has done in both collections. To confuse the issue a few comments will relate to both collections, but there is no test later so whatever. I will not address each story, but rather highlight some of the reasons I enjoyed them so much.
Sherlock Holmes is definitely Doyle's Holmes but possibly a little less stiff, and when they are appear, Watson and Lestrade are a little brighter and a little less, cardboard cutout's. Vaughan has a perfectly good explanation that I accepted immediately. The characteristics of all of them have been exaggerated in Watson's stories to advance the plot. So in reality, and these stories are real, aren't they, they will be a little, (not much) more human. The stories are not based on the rigid Holmes and Watson have a client and solve a case formula. As has become typical of Holmes pastiche's in general, they are narrated by a number of individuals, as Watson does not always appear. Sometimes Holmes barely appears. The stories cover Holmes for his entire career in one he is an old man on a tour of the United States, in another he is a student on a walking tour. Several of my favourites involve Lestrade and his rather clueless sidekick Sergeant Jacket, who is a big Holmes fan as you can imagine.
But one of the things I enjoyed the most is that rather than one shambling Innsmouthian after another, Vaughan explores the entire mythos as well as various characters from the works of Doyle and Wells. Some of my favourites are "The Woods, The Watcher & The Warding", "Lestrade & the Damned Cultists", "The Terror out of Time", "The Adventure of the Shattered Men" and from
Sherlock Holmes: The Coils of Time and other stories
"The Coils of Time", "Lestrade and the River Pirates", "The Adventure of the Counterfeit Martian" and "The Dog Who Loved Sherlock Holmes" To sum it up these are fun stories, hopefully you can enjoy them as much as I have.
and let's let Ralph bring this post home.
from Book Scribbles "Sherlock Holmes vs Cthulhu
A few years ago I posted a blog about when I introduced Sherlock Holmes to HP Lovecraft in The Adventure of the Ancient Gods. If you're interested in reviewing it, you can click on the link in the title and be taken there. However, if you're interested in reading the story, you may have a bit of a problem. Copies of the original fanzine, Holmesian Federation #4 are very difficult to find and can be costly; copies of the chapbook published by Gary Lovisi's Gryphon Books are likewise hard to find and can be even more expensive, especially if it's the first edition with my name misspelled on the cover. Purchasing the book, along with any of my other Sherlock Holmes books published by Gryphon is no longer an option, thanks to a visit by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. That incident led me to republish a later book, which introduced Sherlock Holmes to HG Wells' Time Traveler as Sherlock Holmes: The Coils of Time & Other Stories. The "other stories" in the book were all new ones I had written after 2005, all either about Holmes directly, in homage to Holmes, or about other characters in the Canon.'
for the full post
related posts on Book Scribbles
related posts on Book Scribbles
Sherlock Holmes & The Coils of Time (Redux)
When Sherlock Holmes first met H.P. Lovecraft