Monday, January 26, 2015

221b: Books

"You may marry him, murder him, or do anything you like to him."

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle rather famously wrote a cable with these words on it in response to William Gillette's query 'Can I marry Holmes?' The response, written after Doyle started to feel trapped by his creation, was sardonic - but he never could have guessed how the simple line would open door a hundred years down the road.

Sherlock Holmes has been popular over the years. Many authors have tried their hand at writing about the great consulting detective. He has been married - though I've never come across a story that he was killed in. (Besides, obviously, Doyle's own Reichenbach Falls.) He has also been cryogenically frozen, made younger, became gay, time traveled, turned into a dog and a host of other things - things probably never even imagined by Doyle.
The start of a series where Holmes eventually finds himself married.
A series where Holmes is brought through a wormhole to present day.
Over the years, Holmes has matched wits with murderers, thieves and villains of all sorts. His opponents have included not only Moriarty himself, but also Jack the Ripper.
It doesn't end there, either. Even though Holmes is well known for his disinterest (and, some would say, disbelief) in the occult and the paranormal, he has had opponents of distinctly supernatural origins.
Sometimes the focus is not on Holmes, but his adversary (like in the upcoming Lock and Mori novel whose viewpoint character is that of a teenaged, female Moriarty). There have been books that claim Holmes is really real - or that Watson actually did write the story.

Some authors, try to keep the original feel and time as close as possible. Adding all this to the hundreds of short stories penned by various authors, there really is no limit to what authors have done, thanks to that one line on a cable, written over a hundred years ago.