Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Friday, February 14, 2014


Sherlock Holmes Through Time and Space edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin Harry Greenberg, & Charles G. Waugh (1984)

The first science fiction anthology about Sherlock Holmes was the small press The Science-Fictional Sherlock Holmes published in 1960 by the Council of Four, a Denver-based affiliate of the Baker Street Irregulars.  Almost from the beginning of Sherlock's career, various writers have satirized, parodied , and played homage to the great detective and, given such hints from Watson about giant rats and remarkable worms, it is no wonder that many of those stories over the years had a fantastical bent.  Today there are a number of anthologies about a science fictional Holmes, but(methinks; please correct me if I'm wrong) it took another 24 years after The Science-Fictional Sherlock Holmes for the next major anthology to appear.

As with most Asimov/Greenberg/Waugh anthologies, this one is a good mix of familiar and unfamiliar tales, some heady and some slight, but all great fun.  I was pleased to see some of my favorite characters included -- Sterling Lanier's Brigadier Ffellowes, Fred Saberhagan's relentless Berserkers, Poul Anderson and Gordon Dickson's Hokas, and Asimov's own Black Widowers.  Fifteen stories that should appeal to the Sherlockian in each of us.

  • Sherlock Holmes, introduction by Isaac Asimov
  • The Adventure of the Devil's Foot by Arthur Conan Doyle (The Strand Magazine, December 1910) [a story that is "most nearly science fiction]
  • The Problem of the Sore Bridge -- Among Others by Philip Jose Farmer writing as "Harry Manders" (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, September 1975) [a Wold Newton story; Harry -- or "Bunny" -- Manders was the Watson to gentleman burglar A. J. Raffles' Holmes; Raffles was the creation of Doyle's brother-in-law E. W. Hornung]
  • The Adventure of the Global Traveler by Anne Lear (Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, September-October 1978)
  • The Great Dormitory Mystery by S. (Sharon) N. Farber (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, December 1976) [a snippet, or -- if you will -- a Feghoot]
  • The Adventure of the Misplaced Hound by Poul Anderson & Gordon R. Dickson (Universe Science Fiction, December 1953) [a Hoka Story]
  • The Thing Waiting Outside by Barbara Williamson (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, December 1977)
  • A Father's Tale by Sterling E. Lanier (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, July 1974) [a Brigadier Ffellowes story; this one was nominated for the 1975 World Fantasy Award]
  • The Adventure of the Extraterrestial by Mack Reynolds (Analog Science Fiction - Science Fact, July 1965) [nominated for the 1966 Nebula award]
  • A Scarletin Study by Philip Jose Farmer writing as "Jonathon Swift Somers III" (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, March 1975) [a Wold Newton story featuring Ralph von Wau Wau; Jonathan Swift Somers III was a character created by Edgar Lee Masters; supposedly Somers was born on the same day as Sherlock Holmes]
  • Voiceover by Edward Wellen (apparently original to this volume; a major retrospective of Wellen's work is long overdue)
  • The Adventure of the Metal Murderer by Fred Saberhagen (Omni, July 1980) [a Berserker story]
  • Slaves of Silver by Gene Wolfe (If, March-April 1971)
  • God of the Naked Unicorn by Richard Lupoff writing as "Ova Hamlet" (Fantastic, August 1976) [a Wold Newton-ish story featuring Dr. Watson and various members of Personages United in League as Protectors -- including Holmes, Tarzan, The Avenger, The shadow, Flash Gordon, Captain Future, John Carter, David Innes, The Spider, and The Green Lama.  The very demented "Ova Hamlet" gave Lupoff an opportunity to parody many of his favorite writers.   **unsolicited advertisement** The Complete Ova Hamlet is available from Ramble House.  Be there or be square! **end of unsolicited advertisement]
  • Death in the Christmas Hour by James Powell (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, January 1983) [a quirky story in which Sherlock solves the murder of two toys]
  • The Ultimate Crime by Isaac Asimov (More Tales of the Black Widowers by Isaac Asimov, 1976) [yep, a Black Widowers story]
355 pages of pure joy.



  1. And don't forget the writer-performers, such as the Firesign Theater and their THE GIANT RAT OF SUMATRA. "Oh, a Canadian!"

  2. I have this, read it many years ago and though I don't recall the details I liked it very much. There's another, SHERLOCK HOLMES IN ORBIT that's about as good.

  3. Like Rick, I read SHERLOCK HOLMES THROUGH TIME AND SPACE when it was published. And he's right about SHERLOCK HOLMES IN ORBIT, too! Wonderful books!

  4. I read this what seems like ages ago. I'm usually not much for faux Holmes, but I remember enjoying several of these.