Tag Archives: Sherlock

Full Moon: Sherlock Werewolf AU Fan Fiction

20 Mar

Having been devoted to all things werewolvish when I was a kid, I decided to take a wander through the wonderful world of Sherlock werewolf AU fan fiction.

One thing I found interesting was that the quality of writing in this particular genre is much more unbalanced than in any other I have read so far. 

The thing that really annoyed me was the number of writers who referred to wolves as canines.  The correct description is lupine.  Wolves are of the genus Canis Lupus.  Dogs are Canis Familiaris.  Yes, they had a common ancestor, but are now two distinctly different species with different behavioral patterns.  Unless Sherlock and John are going to be werepoodles, then please don’t refer to them as canines.

Then there are the writers who turn werewolves into domesticated pets.  My mind palace just isn’t able to cope with the image of werewolf Sherlock chasing balls around Regents Park and being taken for walkies by John! No, just NO!  Sherlock Holmes, consulting German Shepherd just doesn’t cut it in my book.

There is Johnlock werewolf fiction.  Of course there is.  The same problem applies as with the dragon AUs (https://margysmusings.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/here-be-dragons-sherlock-dragon-au-fan-fiction/)  – overtones of bestiality.  Unfortunately, it is much worse with the werewolf genre than the dragon one.  Some writers seem to delight in Sherlock in werewolf form screwing John into the ground.  Cease and desist!  That particular act is illegal in damn near every country in the world.  I can cope with Sherlock and John in human form having sex, I can  cope with the same thing when they are both in wolf form, but one in wolf form and one human has me frantically hunting for a bucket!  I am sorry, but that is just so wrong on so many different levels.

I have managed to find some truly excellent Sherlock werewolf fan fiction.  Fiction where the writers know the werewolf mythos, and/or are familiar with wolf pack behaviour.  Those stories are true gems and I have even downloaded some of them for my kindle.  Well written and interesting.  I draw your attention to two stories on AO3 – “Fighting Instinct” and “Show Me How to Stop Running”.  Both have been well researched and it shows in the attention to detail.  They are both Johnlock stories, so if you don’t like, then don’t read.

Not sure where my Sherlock AU adventures are going to take me next.  If you have any suggestions I am keen to hear them.

Sherlock Holmes: The Army of Dr. Moreau

26 Feb

I bought this book on spec with a voucher I got for Christmas.  I am so glad I did.  This has to be one of my favourite Sherlock Holmes books outside of the canon.  Author Guy Adams has created a Sherlockian masterpiece.

The word “romp” is often over used in book descriptions, but it certainly describes “The Army of Dr. Moreau”.  A wild, riotous, romp through Victorian London, the chase led by Sherlock Holmes and a posse of characters from other novels.

The premise of the book is that Dr Moreau was working for Mycroft’s mysterious Department before and during the incidents of Wells’ book “The Island of Dr. Moreau”.  Moreau appears to be dead, but his creations are creating havoc in London.  Who is behind it, and what is their motive?  Mycroft enlists his little brother Sherlock and his friend, John Watson, along with Professor Challenger, Cavor, and one or two others, to get to the root of the problem.

The interactions between the Holmes’ brothers and Watson are gorgeous.  Guy Adams was writing this novel around the same time he was writing the BBC Sherlock tie-in book ( https://margysmusings.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/the-sherlock-files/ ), and there is a little bleed through in repartee, not to mention one genuine steal from his Sherlock book, which had me laughing.

Even though the Mycroft of this book is the fat man of Conan Doyle, the temperament and acid wit is much more inline with Christopher Lee or Mark Gatiss’ versions.

One interesting character is Kane, a human/hound hybrid.  John Watson’s method of disposing of this creature after being hunted by it is both humourous and somewhat poignant.

I heartily recommend this book to all Sherlockians, and I would also recommend it to any Sherlock fans who find the jump from Sherlock to Arthur Conan Doyle canon a little abrupt.  This book is perfect to ease your way properly into the genre.

Blogging About Sherlock

17 Feb

It seems at the moment that the most popular thing I could possibly write about is the BBC show “Sherlock”.  My blog statistics for the last week are overwhelmingly Sherlock related.

The most popular tag has been Sherlock itself.  People seeming voracious for anything related to the show.

The BBC was next most searched for.  I am assuming the BAFTAs had something to do with that.  Because that tag exploded into the stats yesterday.

Next off the rank was Sherlock Holmes and John Watson.  People interested in my blogs about both characters equally.  Which makes sense to me, because in my mind you can’t have one without the other.

There were searches for both Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch, though these two are almost always in my statistics, so it cannot necessarily be taken as being definitively Sherlock related.

The thing that interested me was the searches for the tags Johnlock, Fan Fiction, and AU.  It seems that people also want to read other peoples opinions on the subject of fan fiction.  Thanks to those reading those blog posts, it lets me know I’m on the right track with my occasional series of blogs on Sherlock alternate universe fan fiction. 

I do find it very interesting that people are interested in reading blogs on literary characters turned TV characters.  It shows that the appeal of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s characters is universal and enduring.  It isn’t just the appeal of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, either.  I find that when I do blogs that are book reviews of Sherlock Holmes pastiches, they get a lot of hits as well.  More than any other book reviews I do.

I can confidently say that there will be more Sherlock and Sherlock Holmes blog posts in the future.  Many, many more.  Thanks for reading.

Here Be Dragons: Sherlock Dragon AU Fan Fiction

13 Feb

I’m back exploring the world of Sherlock AU (alternate universe) fan fiction.  The last week or so it’s been the wonderful world of dragon AUs.  Yup, you heard me, Sherlock and Dragons.

Whilst I celebrate the imagination involved, so many of the stories require, not just the suspension of disbelief, but suspension of it by the neck until dead!

A lot of the stories I’ve come across are cross overs to many and varied dragon based fantasy worlds.  Although, to my surprise, I never came across the one I thought was the most obvious, Anne McCaffrey’s “Pern” world.  I’m sure there must be some out there, I just haven’t come across them yet.

The combinations are many and varied, Sherlock as dragon with John as his rider/handler.  John as dragon and Sherlock as his rider/handler.  Dragons (ie Mycroft) ruling England.  Wars between dragons and humans.

By far the most disturbing ones are the Johnlock ones, which unless handled properly tend to have a rather disturbing patina of bestiality attached to them.  Even if the beast in question is mythical.

Many writers have got around this by having dragons have an interesting ability – the ability to take human form.  And before anyone says anything about that being a useful cop out, I can remember this very same device used in a novel by a very successful fantasy novelist, Mercedes Lackey, in her Serrated Edge series.  Same goes for the interbreeding of human and dragon.  Mercedes got there first.  Though in the book I remember it wasn’t a human/dragon crossbreed, it was dragon/kitsune.  However, it’s the idea that counts.

One big problem with this particular AU genre, is that due to it being basically fantasy, it seems to be too difficult for many writers to keep the characters in character.  Far too many of the stories have characters named “Sherlock”, or “John” or “Mycroft”, but you don’t get a sense of the actual Sherlock characters.  They’re just random characters who happen to have these names.  It does let the stories down somewhat.  You need at that point to stop reading them as Sherlock fan fiction, and switch your mind to thinking of them simply as reasonably good fantasy stories. 

I did come across one major exception to this.  I was browsing on AO3, when I came across a story called “Sacrifices Must Be Made” by a fan writer using the handle Winter_of_our-Discontent.  This story is sheer magic.  Sherlock is the dragon and John is the human sacrifice from his small village.  The story is funny, witty, and warm, but also manages to keep both John and Sherlock in character.  I had absolutely no difficulty in hearing Martin and Benedict delivering the lines.  My favourite:  “Look,” John said, “there’s being a dragon and then there’s being an arsehole…”

If you would like to read it, here’s the link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/904589  Be warned, however, it is Johnlock, so enter at your own risk.

In summary, as much as i enjoyed the one particular story, I have to say that Sherlock dragon stories are just not for me.  Maybe I’ll try werewolves next, or faeries.

Sherlock Official Convention: Australia Stiffed

10 Feb

The BBC and Hartswood Films have announced that there will be official Sherlock conventions during 2014.  At first I was delighted, then disillusion and misery set in.

As per bloody normal, the conventions will only be in Europe and the USA.  What about the fans down here in Australia and New Zealand?  Don’t we matter?  You’re happy to take our money for the dvds, books etc, but you won’t give us the treat of seeing the cast and crew.

I think I’m entitled to feel ripped off and neglected.  Pretty sure you buggers can easily afford to arrange one measly convention in Melbourne or Sydney, but no, the fans down here don’t matter.  It would cost me at least $5,000 to get to one of the European or US conventions.  Money I don’t have, not when I am saving frantically for a UK holiday next year.  I could easily afford to travel to Sydney for a con, or better yet attend one here in Melbourne.

Why do they do this?  Are Australasian fans less important in the scheme of things?  We love the show and the stars, but it seems that we don’t matter to anyone in positions of power.

I would really like an answer to why we in the antipodes are being ignored.  But asking for an explanation will go unanswered, because the fact there is no convention for us is an answer in itself.

 

Sherlock: The Empty Hearse

2 Feb

I received my Sherlock series 3 dvds last week, and settled down yesterday to watch the first episode “The Empty Hearse”.

I’ll state here and now that I was absolutely blown away by the episode for a hell of a lot of reasons.

Mark Gatiss’ brilliant script for a start.  It was a gorgeous balance of humour, drama, and whimsey.  Mark is a known fan of the Billy Wilder movie “The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes” and absolutely delighted me by popping one of my favourite lines from one of my favourite scenes in that movie seamlessly into “The Empty Hearse”.  I have to stay, Una Stubbs delivered the line with as much wealth of meaning as Irene Handl did. 

There is just so much to love about this episode, that I warn you now, this is probably going to be more a Sherlockian fan girl gush than a measured review.

The reunion scene with Sherlock and John was superb.  Martin Freeman deserves another BAFTA on the strength of that scene alone.  The mingling anger and pain gave the scene an intensity rarely seen in television performances.  It’s the sort of thing many lesser actors would save for a chance to win an Oscar.  Martin gives his best regardless.  And Benedict played to him perfectly.  Giving that scene to Martin.  An extraordinary gift from an extraordinary actor.

Amanda Abbingdon’s Mary Morstan is fantastic.  I loved her from her first appearance.

One of the best scenes in the episode, in my opinion, is the juxtaposition between John’s day and Sherlock’s day.  It was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in ages.  Beautifully balanced and hysterically funny to watch. 

The bonfire scene is probably one of the scariest things I have seen in ages, even though I KNEW John would be okay, I was perched on the edge of my seat absolutely bloody terrified!  Though I can’t help but wonder if Mark Gatiss was having a little dig.  Anyone who knows the fandom knows that Martin Freeman is often likened to a hedgehog.  During the run up to Bonfire Night in the UK councils and animal welfare associations constantly remind people to check their bonfires for hedgehogs before lightening them!

Another thing about the bonfire scene.  I found myself remembering Moriarty’s words in “The Great Game”:  “I will burn you.  I will burn the heart out of you.”  John H. Watson has always been Sherlock Holmes’ heart.

The best thing about “The Empty Hearse” had to be the echos of other episodes.  The one that made me smile gently was the “It wasn’t working for me” line, first said by Molly in “A Study in Pink” about lipstick, and echoed by John about his moustache in “The Empty Hearse”.  Sherlock echos Mycroft’s line from “A Scandal in Belgravia” back at Mycroft.  It served to emphasize that “The Empty Hearse” is a new beginning for both Sherlock and his friends and family.

I loved the little bit of back story we got on Sherlock and Mycroft’s childhood and getting to meet their parents.  Played wonderfully by Benedict’s real parents, Wanda Ventham and Timothy Carlton. 

There is also a sense of reversal of position with Sherlock and Mycroft.  In series 1 and 2, Sherlock was the lonely insecure one with no friends.  Now, he has the strength of friends around him to support him.  Mycroft is denying he is lonely, yet Sherlock sees through that for the bulldust that it is.  Sherlock has realised that Mycroft’s cant from “A Scandal in Belgravia” of “All lives end.  All hearts are broken. Caring is not an advantage”, is just plain wrong, and John’s insistence that friends protect, is indeed the truth.  This makes “The Empty Hearse” a lot deeper than it immediately appears.

Oh and how Sherlock survived the jump?  I loved the fact that 13 possibilities were mentioned.  The one Sherlock told Anderson was the most feasible.  For the purposes of my sanity I will ignore Anderson’s overly romantic version.  And I am definitely going to scrub the Sheriarty version from the walls of my Mind Palace!

But here’s the thing… did Sherlock actually tell Anderson what happened?  Was Sherlock even there?  Was it all in Anderson’s mind?  Because it become clear in that scene that Anderson has had some form of mental breakdown, possibly guilt induced, and is clearly certifiably insane.  Kudos to Jonathan Aris for that scene.  It was brilliantly done.

I can hardly wait to watch “The Sign of Three”.

A Few Speculations on “His Last Vow”

7 Jan

There’s a lot of talk on Twitter, and such like internet sites, about the forth coming “Sherlock” season 3 episode “His Last Vow”.  I’ve had a few thoughts on this that I thought I might share.

The thing that is freaking more than a few “Sherlock” fans out is the hospital scene.  We don’t know what happens in the hospital yet, but exterior scenes were shot with John and Lestrade and, of course, rumour is running around like a hamster in a wheel.  Going nowhere fast and ultimately futile.

A section of the fandom seems to think that it is Sherlock who is hospitalised.  There is nothing to support this speculation at all.

Those of us who are Sherlockians, and have read all the stories more times than we care to count, do know one thing.  Don’t get too attached to Mary Morstan.  She didn’t survive long in the books.  A  few times Mrs Watson is mentioned, then *BOOM* – gone.  Over the years there has been lots of discussion as to the disappearance of Mary Watson nee Morstan.  Apart from the obvious one that ACD realised that she buggered up the action and so just quietly dropped the character, or given his cavalier attitude to continuity (DO NOT get me started on Watson’s Wandering War Wound) just forgot her, one or two ideas as to her fate have been discussed deeply.  One very popular theory is that Mary died either in childbirth or while miscarrying. 

Mark Gatiss, Steve Moffat and Steve Thompson are all Sherlockians.  They have not deviated from the spirit of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s immortal creations.  However, if they allow John and Mary to have children and allow Mary to live, that would be shifting “Sherlock” into the realms of “Elementary”.  Just another show that happens to use the names of famous characters.  The spirit of the original stories would be well and truly violated.

There are some good clues that Mary is deeply involved in “His Last Vow”.  The message she got at the wedding that was signed “CAM”. Charles Augustus Magnessun.  Somehow, in some way, Mary has fallen into his clutches.

Steve Moffat has written “His Last Vow” – I cannot see him being so damned obvious as to have Sherlock’s life hanging by a thread at season end. 

There are a few possibilities as I see it.

1. Mary Morstan is hospitalised after suffering a miscarriage.

2. Mary attempts to commit suicide, either because of CAM or because John discovers what it is CAM knows about Mary.

3. Mycroft has Sherlock committed to a psychiatric hospital.

4. Mycroft has a heart attack.

Of course, knowing Steve Moffat, I will be completely wrong on all counts.  I look forward to finding out.

A Fan Fiction Writer’s Opinion

16 Dec

I am about to shove in my two cents worth on the debacle at the BFI screening of Sherlock “The Empty Hearse”.

It is my considered opinion that springing explicit Johnlock fan fiction on Benedict and Martin, and expecting them to read it was pretty disgusting behaviour on the part of Caitlin Moran.  This is not the professional behaviour you expect from a journalist of Moran’s calibre.  It’s also a low, nasty trick to play on someone who is a friend.  Not funny.  In fact to pinch the Sherlock fandom’s favourite phrase, it’s a bit not good!

Of course Twitter and Tumblr reacted in their usual manner.  Firstly whining about the fan fic writer’s work being used without permission, then bashing Martin and Benedict for not wanting to read it!

Let’s look at the first one, shall we?  All fan fiction writers break copyright ever single damn time we post a story.  So don’t whine to me about stories being used without permission.  If Mark Gatiss, Steve Moffat and the BBC really wanted to, they could make life extremely miserable for fan fiction writers.  Oh and those “disclaimers” so beloved of fan fiction writers actually mean diddly squat if BBC seriously decided to sue.

Many fan fiction writers seem to think that they are above the law and that the shows owe them!  Excuse me, has it occurred to you lot that you are actually stealing the character’s created by the hard work of others and then playing holy hell with them?  So many stories are so far removed from the characters that they are barely recognizable.  I try to keep the characters in character – which is why my stories can take a month to write.  Until I can hear every word being delivered in character by the actor in my mind, then to my way of thinking, it’s not proper fan fiction, it’s simply new characters dressed in old clothes.

And Johnlock is about as far removed from the true characters as is possible.  Neither Sherlock or John are gay.  Yes the show has homoerotic overtones, which are mostly used for comic leaven.  Not to be taken seriously.  Yes, I have written a little light Johnlock myself, though nothing explicit.  And this has only happened when the story I’ve been working on works best with that outcome.  I prefer the strong friendship that glows throughout all the episodes of the show.  The friendship that is the essence of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original works.

The second complaint about Martin and Benedict not being happy to read Johnlock fan fiction.  How the hell would you like it if you were an actor and you’d invested so much time and effort into bringing a character to life, to find people are happily bastardizing the character for their own amusement?  Think how Martin and Benedict must have felt.  Martin at least has read some Johnlock, I understand, Benedict I don’t think has.  Suddenly, you’re confronted with some pretty explicit writing that you’re expected to read out loud.  I’m actually surprised they didn’t just get up and walk off.  It says much for the grace and kindness of both men that they didn’t take their anger out on the audience.

Remember this when you write fan fiction or draw fan art.  We are privileged.  We are using the images of two REAL men who just happen to play characters, and they are mostly happy to allow us to do so.  Remember that the next time you feel the urge to whine about lack of respect to fans, be it writers or artists, or just the average fan.

Respect is earned not given as a right.  If you don’t respect the actors with your work and your attitude, why the hell do you expect anyone to respect you?

Mycroft in A Scandal in Belgravia

5 Nov

I watched the Sherlock episode “A Scandal in Belgravia” again on Saturday night and a few things struck me about Mycroft Holmes.

The more I watch this episode, the more apparent it becomes that Mycroft is actually quite a nasty little bugger.

It is clear by the time we reach the scenes with Sherlock on the aeroplane, that Mycroft is working hand-in-glove with the CIA.  This is one of the things that alarmed me.

This means that Mycroft tacitly approved of the CIA threatening to kill John Watson to get Irene Adler’s phone.  And he approved of the assault on, and holding hostage of Mrs Hudson.  If he had not approved, the head of the CIA team would have been out of the UK before you could say “diplomatic incident”.  The fact he was standing guard at the stairs to the plane speaks volumes as to Mycroft’s approval and deep involvement in the scheme.

Mycroft was prepared to use his vulnerable little brother to get what he wanted, and he was also prepared to kill and/or traumatize the two people his brother most values.  What sort of man uses his brother’s loved ones as pawns against him in a particularly nasty version of chess?

I think the wrong brother has the diagnosis of “high functioning sociopath”.  It’s Mycroft who shows all the signs of sociopathy, with possible psychopathic overtones, not Sherlock.

This brings me to Mycroft and Moriarty.  The thing that struck me when I first watched “A Scandal in Belgravia” was the fact that Moriarty had Mycroft’s mobile phone number.  How did he get it?  Mobile phone numbers are not routinely printed in telephone directories, and in any case you can bet that Mycroft’s number would be ex-directory.  Only those whom he trusts would have that number.  Sherlock does.  John does.  No-one with half a working braincell would trust Moriarty with their number.

It was pretty obvious from Mycroft’s reaction that he was familiar with the person who texted him.  The message itself was so vague as to be meaningless.

Ergo, Mycroft and Moriarty have been working together on something.  The downfall of Sherlock, perhaps?  Or is Moriarty an operative of Mycroft’s that slipped the leash and went rogue?

I am hoping that Season 3 will give me some answers to my questions.

Murder and Mendelssohn

29 Sep

Picked up (ie snatched from the display stand and raced to the counter in a high state of excitement) the brand new Kerry Greenwood novel “Murder and Mendelssohn” on Saturday.  This book is the 20th novel starring the Hon. Phryne Fisher, fashion plate and private detective, set in 1920s Melbourne.

In “Murder and Mendelssohn” the conductor of a choir about to perform Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” is found murdered.  Detective Inspector Jack Robinson is uncomfortable with the world of music and songsters, and asks Phryne to investigate.

Meanwhile, Phryne’s old friend Dr John Wilson is in town with his dear friend, Rupert Sheffield, who is presenting a lantern lecture on “The Science of Deduction”.  Someone wants Rupert dead, and John turns to Phryne for help to keep the love of his life alive. 

If the topic of the lecture sounds familiar to “Sherlock” fans, you would be correct.  John Wilson and Rupert Sheffield are partly based on Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch’s John and Sherlock.  I say partly, as they are not merely John and Sherlock renamed and transported back to the 1920s.  They are distinctly different characters, with interesting and quite horrific back stories.  And Rupert is a bigger arse than Sherlock has ever been.

I really hope that John and Rupert return in future books.  I would love it too, if Kerry would write them a book of their own.  John and Rupert are too good to only have in one book.  They deserve a series of their own.

Kudos to anyone who spots the throw away “Man from U.N.C.L.E.” reference.  It had me giggling.

“Murder and Mendelssohn” also has THE weirdest bedroom scene I have ever read in any book EVER.

I only had one small niggle.  I wasn’t happy with Detective Inspector Jack Robinson, he seemed to be out of character quite a bit in the story.  It jarred.  Especially when he appeared to be flirting with Phryne, which is something our pillar of rectitude detective just would not do.

Make sure you read the Author’s Notes at the end.  Kerry’s notes are often worth the price of the book alone.  Her comments on BBC “Sherlock” are enough to warm the heart of any fan of Benedict and Martin.

“Murder and Mendelssohn” is a wonderful addition to the Phryne Fisher canon.  It is a treat for the dedicated Phryne fan, but because it touches on a lot of the back story from other books, it is also a suitable introduction for anyone who wants to explore the world of Phryne Fisher.

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