Sherlockians, it appears, fall into two camps: those who think the Canon is Baker Street enough, and those who can never have a sufficiency of Sherlock Holmes. Thanks to the discovery of countless manuscripts, which must have been contained in an entire regiment's worth of battered dispatch boxes, new pastiches appear with a regularity that one can only wish to see from public transit. These pastiches offer a wide range of Holmeses, Watsons, Moriartys, and such. Holmeses fight crime or monsters, evil bureaucrats or elder gods. Billys of all ages leap about their pages. The famous—both high-born and low—make cameo appearances with startling frequency.
Some of these tales are in books; some only exist on line. (Lyndsay Faye—author of Dust and Shadow, a Holmes vs. the Ripper novel—defines pastiche as work for which one is paid; the rest, she says, is fan fiction.) What this delicatessen of pasticherie tells us is that many readers want or need more than sixty stories' worth of Holmes. They need more and more Holmes and Watson. Many readers will never venture beyond The Complete Sherlock Holmes; but some clamor for a wider Sherlockian universe, seeking out all Sherlockian pastiche, fan fiction, and other homages .
Whether the Canon is sufficiently satiating, or a warehouse of works is required, all can agree that regular doses of Baker Street are required for a happy, healthy life. Here's hoping the New Year brings you intriguing problems and astounding deductions.
The Editor's Gas-Lamp, Winter 2015, Vol. 65, No. 4.