to say Thank You for your support of both Sherlock Holmes and this site.
Click on the image below or this link to download a set of 10 gift tags featuring characters from BBC Sherlock (sorry I’ll work on the other versions). The tags were designed to to be printed on Avery micro-perfed business card paper, but can be printed on any card stock and cut apart if preferred.
Click on image to download the Sherlock Holiday Gift Tags PDF (6.6MB)
(Oh, and if you need some gifts to use with the tags, please feel free to check out our new MX Publishing Shop or consider a t-shirt, tote, or calendar… all profits for December go to the Hurricane Sandy Funds of the Red Cross and the Humane Society.)
Why would someone write plagiarized fanfic? It doesn’t make any sense. It’s just sad.
I haven’t had a chance to read a lot of fanfic up to now (because I’v been busy writing my own for one thing), but several folks have made some recommendations to me so I’ve been trying to catch up (because I’m suppose to be writing my Sherlock NaNoWriMo project instead.) And, to be honest, I don’t really enjoy porn and I have a limited interest in reading slash (aka Johnlock) unless it’s something special (meaning close to in character and not porn and well written). But as I said, I was avoiding working on my own writing and I’d finished re-re-re-reading the original Canon, so I dove into some of the fanfic that had gotten multiple recommendations.
And then wasted a couple of hours digging around to make certain I wasn’t crazy, and the sense of deja vu was because I had read or heard those very words (let alone scenario) before.
I wasn’t crazy. In the first three stories I’d tried, the authors had plagiarized large chunks of dialogue, plot, narrative description, and what ever else they could lift from novels and films. And, no, I don’t mean the quotes from Sherlock, which were understandable. I mean commercial publications and releases. And I don’t mean borrowing concepts or ideas and re-working them into something new and fresh like Moffat & Gatiss have done with the original Canon, or Bridget Jones Diary did with Pride and Prejudice. I mean straight-forward (you should pardon the expression since all were Johnlock) theft, copying-and-pasting (or possibly retyping) the original material, taking scenes, plots, and so on, and simply changing the names.
In a word, plagiarism.
The only point to doing this is a desperate hunger for attention and recognition (albeit stolen recognition). And it seems to be working. I can only assume that in our modern world of continuous new content spewing forth and the fragmenting of our education and our cultures, even successful movies can be ripped off without worrying that there will be much overlap between the people who saw it and the people reading “your” fanfiction.
But I confess I find it all very discouraging, disheartening, and sad.
And no, I’m not going to out anyone. The Cassie Claire scandal was disruptive enough, and proved that the authors who engage in this kind of “writing” don’t really care and actually profit from the attention. So I’m just going to go give my head a mental washout by watching Wimbledon and then get back to work on my NaNoWriMo project — although my heart just isn’t in it as much now.
And the best Irene Adler (and best business card) was by far Lyra Ngalia, writer and RPer (Role Player) who can be found at lyrangalia @ Dreamwidth, WomanWhoBeatYou @ Deamwidth and lyricnonsense @ Livejournal.
The two lovely ladies from Pullman, WA who had the extremely popular pin and poster table can be found on Etsy. Check out pepperspins.etsy.com and unicornempireprints.etsy.com for all your fan button and fan print needs (including publicly hangable Johnlock).
Thanks to the lovely folks at the Odyssey Bookshop (Port Angeles, WA) table, I was introduced to a terrific new book that I believe a lot of Sherlock fans will enjoy. Colin Fischer is a Young Adult (YA) novel about a 14-year old boy who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome embarking on his first year of high school. What does this have to do with Sherlock?
Well, there are definite Sherlock Holmes references in the book, like the poster of Basil Rathbone as the character in Colin’s bedroom, for starters. But there is also the character of Colin who, like Sherlock Holmes, notices things and make some rather amazingly accurate deductions that others find disconcerting. He also requires a “cheat sheet” of facial expressions labeled with the related emotion to discern what the faces of others are conveying about their emotional state. (“Not good. A bit not good.”) In this first book, in what will likely be a series, Colin deduces that the wrong person has been accused of bringing a gun to school that goes off during a scrum in the cafeteria and sets about to uncover the actual culprit. In the process, he makes an unlikely friend and begins taking major strides towards independence. He also has a brother (younger in this case) who resents the disruption Colin’s illness forces on the family and the special attention Colin receives from their parents.
What none of this conveys is the strength of the writing and the clever way Colin’s growth is developed through the story. A potentially unlikeable character (and who does that remind us Sherlockian’s of?) becomes sympathetic and rather heroic as he pushes past his own fears and vulnerabilities to solve the “mystery” and aid the innocent (who isn’t exactly innocent and we realize will eventually be Colin’s Watson, not so much in chronicling his exploits as in watching his back).
Stuck in bed with a stupid cold (look, just give in to them, stay in bed for a day pumping Vitamin C and fluids, and you’ll be able to get rid of a cold much quicker and spread it less), I finished the book in a few hours. It’s a quick but compelling read that makes you want to punch your fist into the air at the end and go “Yes!”
Thanks to Odyssey Bookshop, I’ll be doing a lot of catch-up reading of Sherlock Holmes pastiche and related titles. Let me know below if you’d like to see more reviews and suggestions for Sherlockian reading (I finished “The Art of Detection” during the Sherlock Seattle Convetion which is not a Mary Russell King title but definitely Sherlock Holmes related).
Of course, no one involved in the production of BBC Sherlock is bored right now. They’re all busier than Sherlock in The Great Game!
Fortunately, Sherlock fandom is a creative and industrious bunch, so there are lots of things we’re doing and sharing. A good place to start is over at Baker Street Babes (You go, girlfriends!). They’ve got some lovely interviews including a behind-the-scenes with the Sherlock Fan Orchestra (see below) And you can listen to the podcasts while doing other things (like knitting John a sweater; I’m thinking maybe Fair Isle or Intarsia since I loathe knitting cables.).
(alas, it’s been far too many years since I played the clarinet or the trombone to be of any value).
I’ll be adding some more recommendations to keep us going through the long, dark days before Season 3 arrives.