Sherlock Holmes remains more popular than ever some 130 years after the detective first appeared in print. These days, the iconic character’s staying power is due in large part to the success of the recent BBC series Sherlock, which brings the famous sleuth into the twenty-first century.
One of the most-watched television series in BBC history, Sherlock is set in contemporary London, where thirtysomething Sherlock and John (no longer fussy old Holmes and Watson), alongside New Scotland Yard, solve crimes with the help of smartphones, texting, online forums, and the internet. In their modernization of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s nineteenth-century world, Sherlock creators Stephen Moffatt and Mark Gatiss make London as much a character of their show as the actors themselves. The highly stylized series has inspired an impassioned fan community in Britain, the U.S., and beyond. Fans create and share their writings, which reimagine the characters in even more dramatic ways than the series can.
Interweaving fan fiction studies, world-building, and genre studies, Ann McClellan examines the hit series and the fan fiction it inspires. Using Sherlock to trace the changing face of fan fiction studies, McClellan’s book explores how far fans are willing to go to change the Sherlockian canon while still reinforcing its power and status as the source text. What makes Sherlock fanfic Sherlockian? How does it stay within the canon even while engaging in the wildest reimaginings? Sherlock’s World explores the boundaries between canon, genre, character, and reality through the lenses of fan fiction and world-building. This book promises to be a valuable resource for fan studies scholars, those who write fan fiction, and Sherlock fans alike.