Sunday, June 25, 2017

I am an Omnivorous Reader... or FREE BOOKS!

Everyone knows Brad Keefauver, right?  If not, stop reading this blog and go spend a few hours reading through Sherlock Peoria.

Everyone back now?  Great.

Thursday afternoon, I made the two hour trip from Edwardsville up to Peoria to visit with Brad and his lovely wife, Kathy.  We had a nice dinner where we chatted about everything from Star Trek and comics to Tom Cruise and baseball cards.  Brad, being the generous guy he is, also presented me with a bag full of books that he knew I had on my Sherlockian To Be Read (TBR) list.  I will come back to this gift in a little bit.

We then went to the Peoria Library for their monthly Sherlock Holmes Story Society meeting, where we spent over an hour talking about "The Adventure of the Man with the Twisted Lip."  Some interesting thoughts were bandied about, and you can read about them in detail on Brad's post about the meeting.  But one comment was amazing to me.  In the Sydney Paget drawing of Hugh Boone, it was pointed out that he looks just like Gary Busey!  I will never be able to look at that beggar the same way again.

Gary Busey isn't the main idea of this week's blog post though.  It's about that stack of books that Brad gave me.  Over the past few years, I've built up my collection of Sherlockian books.  Many of them were purchased from Amazon and Ebay, but many generous Sherlockians out there have also gifted me quite a few.  As an omnivorous reader, like the title of this post entails, I'm constantly buying new books, many of them Sherlockian.  This is all of the books and journals I have in my basement waiting for me to read.

Awesome, right?  Look at all the stuff I have to read!  But, I keep ordering new things from Amazon or MX Publishing, so some of those items keep getting pushed further and further back on my TBR list.  So Brad's gift to me last week sparked an idea in my mind: why not use this blog to give away some books myself?

And that's the plan.  Each month, I will give away a few books here to anyone that wants them.  All you have to do is pay for the shipping, and they are all yours.  I don't want money or anything in return, just enjoy your new Sherlockian book.

It will be a first come, first served basis.  So if you like one of the titles I'm giving away this month, post which one you would like in the comments below, and I will arrange for it to be sent to you.

This month's giveaways are:
The Confidential Casebook of Sherlock Holmes by Marvin Kaye
Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Alliance by Larry Millett
The Adventures of Conan Doyle by Charles Higham
Cosmopolitan Crimes: Foreign Rivals of Sherlock Holmes edited by Hugh Greene

As Christopher Morley said, "Never has so much been written by so many for so few," and now it's time to share those writings.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Sherlockian Road Trip

It all started with Chris Redmond saying hi to Monica Schmidt on Twitter.  What happened after that could only happen on the internet.  

A few weeks ago, this led to me, Curtis Armstrong, Ashley Polasek, Jennifer Liang, Beth Gallego and Brad Keefauver all crashing their friendly exchange and crowdsourcing a new Sherlockian show called Route 221b, or The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Game is Afoot, where Sherlockian road trips would be recorded for like-minded viewers.

Brad noted that this wasn’t the first time it had been done.  In fact, he was part of acohort that traveled to Sherlock Hill in Oklahoma.  But just letting one group wasn’t enough.  We decided to turn it into an Amazing Race style event with different teams competing against each other.  

Imagine it: Canon traditionalists vs. BBC fandom vs. Elementary fans vs. pastiche lovers vs. Brettheads vs. Robert Downey Jr. fans vs. you name it! 

They could crisscross the country: The Great Alkali Plains, the Pennsylvania mining district, a New Jersey opera house, Moriarty, New Mexico, Watson, Oklahoma.

And there could be challenges at each stop: unbending steel pokers, deciphering Dancing Men codes, Baritsu matches, digging a tunnel into a bank vault, a boat chase with dart guns!

But in the end, everyone is a winner.  Because the different teams will learn that even though they came from different backgrounds and starting points in their interest in The Great Detective, and they are all part of the Sherlockian family, just like the random group of us that had fun with the idea.  The eight of us that were bantering back and forth are all from different backgrounds and have our own specific interests within Sherlockiana.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t all bask in the comradery of our hobby.  No matter what your specific niche is in this family, we are all here because of our interest in Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, two men of note who never lived and so can never die.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

We Are Homely Folk and Do Not Wait for Formal Introductions

I felt that Stapleton's introduction to Watson from The Hound of the Baskervilles was an apt one for this blog because, as the first post in my new blog, I guess I should introduce myself.  My name is Rob Nunn and this blog probably won't be anything earth shattering that requires a formal introduction, just a weekly set of musings on Sherlockian topics.

I am the head of The Parallel Case of St. Louis scion society, and a member of The Noble Bachelors of St. Louis and the Harpooners of the Sea Unicorn.  I've been teaching a unit on Sherlock Holmes to my fifth grade students for the past three years and I've been writing sporadic blog posts for I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere since 2015.  My first post for IHOSE detailed my origins in Sherlockiana and my first scion meeting and can be found here.  I also have an article in the latest issue of the John H. Watson Society Journal, and my first book is coming out this November from MX Publishing, The Criminal Mastermind of Baker Street.

But this blog isn't about self promotion.  It's about Sherlockiana.  Thoughts on the stories, Sherlockian societies, pop culture, and whatever else pops up along the way.  

At this point, it would be tempting to end my post with "The game's afoot!", but that's so overused I'll just say that I hope you'll come back for more while I still seek knowledge at the old university.