Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sherlock Holmes lawsuit update

The Conan Doyle Estate is now finally responding to to Les Klinger's lawsuit to declare Sherlock Holmes in the public domain. They seem to be arguing that Holmes's character continued to evolve in stories past the 1923 cutoff year, and that Holmes's personality traits should not be separated out into pre-1923 and post-1923 versions.

To some extent, Holmes did change over many stories, but it was not a well-planned evolution, and only about 10 of the 60 stories were first published in 1923 or later. Some Sherlockians even complained that Holmes was in fact too different when he came back after Reichenbach Falls and that the mysteries were recycled and not as good in the Casebook stories. That's been the basis of Sherlockian theories to discredit the Casebook stories as spurious.

I personally don't want the Holmes that retired to keep bees, lost touch with Watson after 1914, and wrote about jellyfish mysteries. (In my fiction, I personally prefer to say "La la la! Not true! Watson was lying because they were together forever and had to protect themselves from the law.") So that's not the Holmes I want, and it's got nothing to do with copyright. We'll have to see if audiences will watch an old retired Holmes when the Slight Trick of the Mind movie comes out; Holmes is retired and mentally failing in that one.

Friday, September 6, 2013


Well some good news out of Texas finally. San Antonio passed the nondiscrimination ordinances. I also liked reading about this New Mexico county clerk who started issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. He's an inspiring guy.

In other news, I've no idea what to do about Syria. The civil war has been dragging on a long time while Americans ignored it and let atrocities continue, so it feels like some response is overdue. I don't want another war, though, and I don't think it will be quick and easy. I hope there can be some middle ground like giving more refugee aid or training the rebels so they, not us, can finish this war.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ian McKellen as Holmes

I just read that Ian McKellen will play Sherlock Holmes in an adaptation of the novel A Slight Trick of the Mind. I remember reading the novel a long time ago, and I disliked it. Because Holmes was suffering from impaired mental faculties, the author used it as an excuse to give partial scenes, then retread them later over and over to add new stuff. He could at least have done it in a less annoying way by not repeating huge swathes of text. I suppose it will be less annoying onscreen, but then again, I recall a Mystery! series called Case Histories where we kept getting flashbacks of the detective as a boy running through fields and screaming for his dead sister. Five seconds would have done as a reminder of that trauma in his life, but no they had to keep showing the flashback in full every damn time. It was so shitty, when we already got the point the first fucking time we saw it.