Indie Review: “Something Wicker This Way Comes” by Colin Garrow

Check all your previous Sherlock Holmes assumptions at the door –  or book cover, in this case. The story within these pages does not simply consist of “fanfic” new cases added to the canon of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Rather, Indie Author Colin Garrow has re-invented the characters and taken them in a new direction. Imagine if you will, Sherlock and Dr. Watson solving cases in an alternate steampunk universe.

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Something Wicker This Way Comes” is the first in a series dubbed “The Watson Letters,” since it is written as a bulk of correspondence between Watson and Holmes. In it we find Dr. Watson as the intrepid gumshoe and Sherlock adding in his bit with rare appearances, and sometimes creating havoc by picking fights over minutiae. I cannot discuss the specific subjects of the letters without dropping spoilers, but I will mention what I can.

There are numerous shout-outs to famous true crime cases, movies, and other things in pop culture. And in the course of these comes a good deal of tongue-in-cheek humor. Let me say that this series, in its steampunk setting, is first and foremost a satirical parody of the crime-solving duo. Colin Garrow dispenses his barbed humor with skill. Yes, I almost spit out my tea on several occasions.

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The quality of the writing is first class. At no point did I have to stumble over an oddly constructed sentence or back track. Colin Garrow’s masterful style gives us a sense of a whirlwind life and friendship. However, the best part is, Colin achieved this while maintaining a sense of a 19th Century steampunk world. Watson’s “voice” comes across as a living member of this alternate universe.

Whether you’re a fan of Sherlock or simply an armchair historian with some pop cultural knowledge, you will enjoy Colin Garrow’s creative innovation as much as I did.

Twitter: @ColinGarrow

Star Trek Fan Fiction

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Star Trek Telephone by Alex Kerhead used under CC License

“The Green Gas Giant,” is a Star Trek fanfiction short story based upon the original series during the five-year mission, and it went over well at my critique group. Even younger members who don’t know anything about the original series were snorting and chuckling. It was odd that the day after presenting this piece did the news start circulating about the death of Leonard Nimoy. A few members of our group noticed the eerie connection and mentioned it on our Facebook page. I guess it was just “one of those things.”

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by NBC Television [Public Domain} via Wikimedia Commons

My first visit to a fanfiction website was quite an eye-opener.

I could say that besides traditional publishing there’s the world of independent authors, and then there is the third world for authors, fan fiction. The amount of work was staggering. Then what caught my attention was the size of some of those files.

There are many short stories, which could be expected, but there were also entire novels and trilogies. Besides lots of stories concerning Star Trek, I had to sift through a long column of subject matter from “Glee” to “I Dream of Jeannie” and everything in between (psst…and that’s just the amount of fan fiction dedicated to TV shows).

Naturally, I couldn’t resist but to dive head first into this vibrant literary sub-culture. But what should I write about? For me, the answer was obvious; I decided to write a comical short story based upon the original Star Trek series.

Please remember to drop a few comments after reading about “The Green Gas Giant.”