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Book Ramblings

Long winded reviews

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Kiln People
Beth Meacham, David Brin

A Study in Emerald

A Study in Emerald - Neil Gaiman Neil Gaiman’s Sherlock Holmes pastiche and Cthulhu mythos mashup is certainly weird, but I am not so sure about wonderful. It is available as a free PDF download so there is no reason not to give it a shot. The PDF file is cleverly formatted to look like a Victorian newspaper with amusing ads placed by Victor Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and other Victorian SF characters. Gaiman is doing a sort of literary sleight of hand here, leading the reader up the garden path. Set in an alternate Victorian England where mankind (or may be just the British?) has been subjugated by the Great Old Ones for centuries. Nothing and nobody is what they seem and he only shows his hands by the end of the story.

It is an interesting and imaginative story but not really as much fun as I was expecting. The Cthulhu side of it is not at all scary though there are some creepy descriptions (the same could be said for most of Lovecraft’s stories I think). I don’t think that this is Gaiman at his best, and I wonder how it won the Hugo Award in 2004. As always this is just my opinion and as the story is available for free download I would not discourage anybody from reading it. Certainly it is not bad. Neil Gaiman does not do “bad”.