Freebies Galore


“Sherlock in Chains” (Originally published as “Imprisoned, Half-Dead: A Syllogism” in Those Who Live Long Forgotten)


The prompt for this story was the idea that some character from the past, be they god or man, arrives in the present. From thence, we were required to chart the chaos that arises. Inevitably, I chose Sherlock Holmes. He may be nearer to us than Apollo, but his world was just as alien (examine your world for honor, intelligence, and fog; chances are, you find a lack of two out of three).

William S. Baring-Gould killed Sherlock Holmes in 1956. Bit problematic, though, given Holmes’ post-mortem appearances in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. #13: The Rainbow Affair, Detective Comics #572, and other, less credible sources.

We pick up with Holmes after his supposed death, imprisoned by an unknown group in a black-ops prison. He is never allowed to see outside his tiny cell, and every day he is confronted and beaten with the same question: “Who killed Jack the Ripper?

It is, after all, a truth universally acknowledged than a man in a cage must try to escape…

That the new title is a bald-faced attempt to draw fans of Sherlock into my web is a theory I will neither confirm nor deny.

The Return: A Novella of Sherlock Holmes by H. Beam Piper and John J. McGuire (introduction and afterward by myself)

The Return_ A Short Novella of Sherlock Holmes

Though I am not responsible for the fiction in this novel, I did provide all the supplementary notes. I highly recommend this work; aside from being free, it’s also one of the very best science-fictional takes on Sherlock Holmes.

You can download it in Kindle format from the 18thWall Productions website.


“A Concluding Oink” (first published in Sargasso #2)

Sargasso 2

If Sherlock Holmes is my chief obsession, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland tags behind as a slim second. Recently, the incomparable Sam Gafford opened a call for essays and fiction based on the work of William Hope Hodgson. In addition to a bibliography of every Carnacki pastiche ever written (which has little interest to non-specialists), I prepared this essay.

It’s an odd-duck essay in the tradition of Father Ronald Knox, the Baker Street Irregulars, and Philip José Farmer: an essay which takes the incidents of Hodgson’s fiction as gospel, and binds it together into a surprising whole.

The essay is primarily concerned with Carnacki the Ghost-FinderThe House on the Borderland, and a small peek into The Night Land. But, because my obsessions reign supreme, little Alice’s adventures in Wonderland plays a huge part in the climax, and Sherlock Holmes does not go unmentioned. As well as mentions made of characters and events from Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth and Edgar Rice Burroughs’ inner-earth series Pellucidar.

Of all the meta-fictional essays I’ve written, this is by far my favorite.

The Species of Editors (First appeared as a guest-post on AskWriterChick)Alice and Dinah's Daughter

This began life as a special feature on M.H. Norris’ blog, then ended up being one of my very favorite essays. It looks at the three “species” of editor in the publishing word~copyeditors, developmental editors, and chief editors~in terms a child of three could understand and apply.

It’s probably the thing I’ve written which is most similar to Jerome K. Jerome’s work.

It also makes great use of Alice in Wonderland artwork. What can I say? Like all men, I’m driven from dust to dust, ashes to ashes, and obsession to obsession.

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