This episode of Book Scribbles is a bit more on the personal side than some of the other entries thus far presented. It starts a long time ago, more than thirty years now, when the small press world was much different it is now, long before computers became our overlords. Back then, all fanzines were printed and sent through the mails, each reflecting some hopeful publisher's/writer's vision, and with readerships ranging from the micro (a dozen or less) to the more-or-less macro (a hundred or more). Without computers, editors depended upon word of mouth as well as listings in publications like Scavengers Newsletter for not only submissions but readership.
One of the more unique of the fanzines was called The Holmesian Federation, a journal devoted to fans of both Sherlock Holmes and e (then) defunct science fiction TV series Star Trek.If I remember correctly, I think I heard of The Holmesian Federation though Scavengers Newsletter or a letter from a one-time correspondent. I wrote a letter to the editor, Signe Landon, and asked a story might be considered if it mixed Sherlock Holmes, not with Star Trek, but with H.P. Lovecraft. The idea was okayed.
The story, "The Adventure of the Ancient Gods", appeared in issue 4 of The Holmesian Federation. The little fanzine was not much different than hundreds of others being published at the time, and the only thing that really set it apart from other Star Trek 'zines (of which there were so many that it constituted almost a sub-genre of its own) was that it mixed the two literary universes -- Star Trek and Conan Doyle.
The editor like the story, but I never really was sure how it went over with the 'zines readership, but at least it stood out from the other stories in issue 4 simply because of the odd mix. To me, it seemed an obvious joining, mainly because both Lovecraft and Sherlock Holmes were higher interests to me than Star Trek -- after all, it had been a long time since it had appeared on television, and, really, I don't know that there was anyone around who thought, even in their wildest dreams, that Star Trek, in any form, would ever return to the small screen, though there were rumors of a theatrical film. So, it was published, there it was, and there the story died...or so I thought.
|German anthology containing "Sherlock Holmes und die alten Götter"|