Monday’s assignment concerned Lovecraft’s response to another writer’s mythos-based story, and it’s true that the Cthulhu mythos lends itself to a sort of literary “riffing.” Most writers of horror or weird fiction have tried their hands at some tale involving the Old Ones, and even popular writers have not been immune to this practice.
Today’s story is by Neil Gaiman, who is by no means a stranger to mainstream popularity. It’s an odd one, too – even by Lovecraftian standards. It’s difficult not to be skeptical with the premise: a story that combines the Cthulhu mythos with the world of Sherlock Holmes? It sounds like the sort of mash-up one sees in amateur fan fiction, not the 2004 Hugo Award winner for best short story, and yet…it’s also oddly compelling.
The in-jokes have added punch if you have more than a passing interest in Sherlock Holmes, but I don’t think encyclopedic knowledge of his many Baker Street adventures is necessary to enjoy the narrative.
Your assignment today is to discuss any aspect of this story you’d like – pro or con, praise or censure, anything you’d like to elucidate or argue. (Pardon me for leaving the field wide open, but there were too many avenues to choose here – and I trust your collective judgment, as well as the many individual perspectives you have. I also did not want to introduce any “spoilers” for those who have yet to read it.)
Reading: Neil Gaiman’s A Study in Emerald (PDF)
Task: 300 words or less on any aspect of this story