Sunday, March 20, 2022

All That Was Monstrous and Inconceivably Wicked in the Universe [DEVI]

Tonight, I'm happy to announce an open call for anyone interested in Sherlockian scholarship that plants its tongue firmly in cheek. 

What if the Canon were actually cover stories for fantastic tales of horror?  This approach has been done many times before in pastiche, but let's take a swing at publishing this from a scholarly approach.  Come join the fun!

The Monstrum Opus

of Sherlock Holmes

A Compendium of Horrors
Dr. Watson Dared Not Tell

Those who study the life of Sherlock Holmes have long known that there are things that Doctor Watson didn’t tell, details that have never quite made sense, and matters that could not be revealed to the general public. And many of the Sherlockian faithful have speculated, in oft-ignored articles in the journals of their cult, on what real mysteries might truly lie behind the carefully presented words that they call the “Canon.” A feeling of “something more” lurking behind each page has haunted many readers of John H. Watson’s reports.

But let us suppose, for a moment, that a new collection of articles was about to be gathered and presented to the public en masse to reveal what actual horrors lay behind the “stories” of Sherlock Holmes, creatures for which, like the giant rat of Sumatra, “the world is not yet prepared.” All of the monsters, hidden in plain sight behind the sixty stories of the Sherlockian Canon revealed. Werewolves, mummies, cryptids, supernatural beings . . . except maybe ghosts (“No ghosts need apply.”) and vampires. (“The idea of a vampire was to me absurd.”) . . . given their proper place by those students of the Canon who have studied the life of Holmes with a keen eye for such things. 

We’re not talking about another book of pastiches or fiction here, but the sort of speculative articles that Sherlockians have always written, using their imagination or “powers of logical synthesis” to make connections and see more than the average reader. Hosting this collection, like some crypt-keeper of ancient lore, will be a descendent of Cecil Barker, Holmes’s rival in such investigations.  As the one descendent of Barker to keep their sanity even while holding on to the terrific truth of such creatures’ existence, there will be no doubting each piece’s veracity by said host as they introduce each article and its writer..

One could see this collection as a veritable monstrum opus of Sherlock Holmes.

Or to put it plainly: We want articles about Sherlock Holmes and monsters!

Any monsters. All the monsters. (Except maybe those ghosts and vampires, as denied specifically by Holmes earlier. We have to respect the Master.)  We’ll be making a list and checking it to make sure we don’t have any writers duplicating efforts in their choices. We’ll also have a list of potential subjects for those who like a target in their Canonical monster hunt.

This project will be edited by Rob Nunn and Brad Keefauver, and will be published through Amazon Direct Publishing.  (If you are unfamiliar with this format you can view Brad’s recent book here and Rob’s here.)  Authors in this collection will receive a contributor copy of the book.  All proceeds from this project will be donated to The Beacon Society, helping to introduce students to the stories of Sherlock Holmes (even if those stories don’t tell the monstrous facts…).

Are you interested in following the paths that John Watson dared not write of?  If so, please respond to Brad Keefauver or Rob Nunn by March 31.  The projected date for submissions will be July 31.  Let’s tell the world about all of the monsters that Sherlock Holmes really faced!

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