The Steampunk Empire

The Crossroads of the Aether

With my ' SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE GUNMAN ' about to drop off the front page a crisis of faith approaches .

Sherlock is a late Victorian/ Edwardian gentleman . Does the period alone make him of interest to Steampunks or is it the display of character against a background of fog and mystery ?

Or none of the above ?

What do you think ?

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I would suppose it would depend on how you are planning on portraying him Professor. You said it yourself, "Sherlock is a late Victorian/ Edwardian gentleman ." By extension, Watson, Moriarity and Moran are also "...late Victorian/ Edwardian gentleman." While Wyatt Earp is an American opportunist who utilized his position as a lawman to further his personal agenda and interests (IMO).Portraying historical Victorian/ Edwardian personages in the Aether should not be an issue. Their reality was for the most part Steam, Wind or Water driven. Yes Holmes "...character (is) displayed against a background of fog and mystery...", but is not our reality in the Aether rather foggy and mysterious as well?

What issue underlies your crisis of faith? Holmes is Holmes, whether he travels by hansom cab or compact dirigible. It is not the age, technology or clothes that make Holmes. It is Holmes' attitude, intellect and wit that make Holmes. I believe that Holmes would fit mortise and tenon in the Aetheric World and utilize the many wonders it contains to his greatest benefit.

Your Obedient Servant,

P. Malifecto

I've started reading a series by Emma Jane Holloway, where the heroine is Sherlock Holmes niece. I think he fits in to the first novel because of his way of thinking. His apartment is his own world, run the way he logically thinks it should, instead of sticking to the rules of high Victorian society.

Thank you both for your replies .

I think Mr. Malifecto is a little harsh on Wyatt Earp . He only gets a role in my ' Sherlock Holmes and the Gunman ' because I wanted to move the action out of the cosy world of the original stories . We are still stuck in London  because of my tendency to rattle on . Should my fellow contributors permit  we will eventually escape  .

In defense of the historical Wyatt Earp it should be noted that the Earp family ( like the Clantons ) were trying to make their way in a rough frontier world of boom and bust . The Earp combination of saloon owning , professional gambling and law enforcement might have been unique but their trend to upward mobility was not .

At Tombstone Wyatt was not even the leading member of the family law enforcement team until events thrust him forward .

In some respects the gun fight at The O.K. Coral ( although it was in fact near by ) represents a continuation of the Civil War with the Clantons representing Southern democrats and the Earps the Northern Republicans .

Professor, I am not judging Wyatt Earp. My view may seem harsh. He was a saloon keeper, gambler, lawmen and gunman. Additionally, he was a bare-knuckle fight promoter and referee, with one infamous match that left a cloud of suspicion over his head for many years. He was also a horse thief, a pimp, and a prospector. He was suspected of running a crooked Faro game in the Klondike. He used the law to further his interests and those of Luke Short in Dodge City, KS. in the Dodge City War over the Longbranch Saloon. In his later years he was involved in the Potash Wars near Trona, CA. The fight at the O.K. Corral did indeed occur at a nearby location, a vacant lot in fact. However, John Clum, authors of the history books and Hollywood perpetuate the myth of the Gunfight at O.K. Corral. I unabashedly use "O.K. Corral" for the sake of brevity.

No, I am not harsh on ole' Wyatt. He is a fixture around my home, along with other Old West heroes. I grew up ten blocks from the mansion owned by the Earp family's first employer, Phineas Banning, in Wilmington, CA. Google Map, Banning Park, Wilmington, CA. to see it. I love his story, but I am reluctant to romanticize his history.

All of that said, I will truly endeavor not to let my personal views on Wyatt Earp color the tale in progress should you decide to continue the thread.

My apologies if I gave offense where none was intended.

I remain your obedient servant,

P. Malifecto

I think we are in furious agreement agreement about the historic Wyatt Earp . I see him a more as a man of his time than the marble figure of myth and legend .

The irony of the Earp family is that they spent their lives and a good deal of their blood looking for fame and fortune only for fame to find them when they were no longer around to enjoy it  .

To see how well Holmes travels, look into Sherlock Holmes in Orbit, a story collection that moves the Great Detective into the space age, where he functions with enthusiastic aplomb.  If he can make that seamless transition, he can surely be at home in an alternate Victorian world.

Stop worrying and enjoy the journey you have set us all out upon!

~ Blimprider

Thank you , Blimprider .

The only worry I have at present is trying to meet the standard that the participants in my ' Sherlock ' have set .

Coincidentally, this persona of mine is the great niece of Sherlock Holmes. I've had the concept of this character for over 20 years, but it wasn't until a few years ago, when I joined here, that I've written anything about her (on my page, and in a blog), save for a short story back when I was 12 (which I had posted up on here one time, but took it down again. I might re-post it in a blog), which was her first appearance.

As for "Grand Uncle" being steampunk - he doesn't need gizmos and gadgetry to prove that he is - he's his own machine, he's way ahead of his time, and he uses his chemistry set to help solve mysteries. Part of being steampunk is being innovative - and he certainly is that.

Thank you Nicci T .

I suppose if Sherlock Holmes has a great-niece there are aspects of his brother Mycroft  that we have never suspected . Pall Mall lodgings , the Diogenes Club and Whitehall . It always seemed too circumscribed a field .

If I'm not mistaken aren't a lot of his gadgets and gizmos steampunk? Don't his enemies use steampunk also?

The movies had a lot of steampunk, but I don't know about the novels.

I always thought of Sherlock Holmes as ahead of his time with the ideas and inventions he created during his crime fighting.   So I would consider him to be part of the Steampunk Genre just for that reason.

Thank you Goggleguy and and Lady Rayna Keller .

I think Conan Doyle's stories are valued as much for the atmosphere of late Victorian/Edwardian England as anything else . The way that just about everything is observed through Watson's honest eyes only adds to the charm . Sherlock Holmes scientific methods probably were in advance of contemporary police practice but point to the future .

Recent Sherlock Holmes movies do seem to have been influenced by Steampunk .

If I could put in a plug for my ' Sherlock Holmes and the Gunman '  , we have just reached the point where Sherlock and Watson have survived New York and are about to climb aboard a dirigible . What Watson will make of this is best left to our collective imaginations !


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