Take Neil Gaiman and H.P. Lovecraft and smash them together and you get A Study In Emerald, a short story that sees a nameless consulting detective investigate the murder of a German prince, set against the backdrop of a gothic 19th century England ripped from the Cthulhu mythos. The best part? You can read it online, for free.
First published in the 2003 anthology Shadows Over Baker Street, I stumbled across Neil Gaiman’s take on beloved Detective Holmes in his own short story collection Fragile Things. In 2004, it took out the Hugo Award for Best Short Story. In Gaiman’s introduction to the story, he cites a range of influences but my favourite little piece of advice is his quote on writing.
Writing’s a lot like cooking. Sometimes the cake won’t rise, no matter what you do, and every now and again the cake tastes better than you ever could have dreamed it would.
As a writer and a terrible chef, this gives me a glimmer of hope.
In 2018, Dark Horse Comics will release A Study In Emerald as a graphic novel adapted by Rafael Scavone. On the pens will be Rafael Albuquerque and Dave Stewart. A board game, inspired by the short story, has also been released – BoardGameGeek rates it a solid 7.3 out of 10.
You can read the full story at Neil Gaiman’s website and I strongly recommend you do if you’re a lover of all things fantasy and H.P. Lovecraft.
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