Behind The Scenes

With Sherlock Cinematographer Steve Lawes


Wallpaper Made of Light

Corinne Portmann is known in the Sherlock fandom for her academic knowledge of wallpaper, and Marcella Kligman for her professional knowledge of lighting and photography/cinematography. They decided to combine their interests in a photoshoot celebrating the distinctive wallpapers of Sherlock and its innovative cinematography.
"The detective on the roof" by Anke Eissmann

The Adventure of the Desperate Draftsperson

I remember actually yelling at the computer in frustration when the credits of “The Great Game” were rolling. ... Over the course of the following weeks, I mutated into a passionate Sherlock fan. Five years, two more seasons and a special, several visits to London and a number of fan-meetings, cosplay shoots and conventions, over 500k words of fan fiction and more than 500 pieces of Sherlock-inspired fan art later, my fascination with this series shows no signs of waning.
"A Drawing Down of Blinds" by Kit Mills

Those Misty Centuries: Unfinished Tales of Sherlock Holmes’s Early Life

There's a constant drive to articulate what motivates Sherlock, what makes him Sherlock. Why did he jump off the roof of Barts Hospital leaving his best friend to believe he committed suicide? How does he feel about his decision? Almost universally (in Anglophone Sherlock fan works at least) the answer involves some kind of childhood trauma...


On Sherlock Fan Fiction

Minding the Gaps: Reimagining the Women of Sherlock

Being an ardent fan of Sherlock (or any text) can be like playing a game of deduction; using the data you already have on the characters, you must often extrapolate and theorize if you want to know more about them. Writers of fan fiction must be especially comfortable with this process, since often they are filling in the gaps between scenes or between series, or even putting these beloved characters into completely different settings and situations.

The Joys Of Writing Fan Fiction – Or, How I Stopped Worrying And Wrote 700,000 Words Of Sherlock

There exists an utterly foolproof way to spark your imagination, to kindle a mental flame so intense, that you feel your brain will melt if you don’t get words down on paper (euphemism for computer screen.) There is a process so completely, devastatingly Real that you have no choice but to begin writing fan fiction and keep on writing for as long as you wish. Trust me; this works. Here it is. Four little words. You fall in love.


On the Sexy Side of Holmes and Watson


Let’s Start with the Riding Crop

In the onscreen context of Sherlock the crop can only be used to make coy hints at possible meanings, because of the cultural obligation to present it within a frame of conventional titillation. In the open field of fandom, it becomes a reference point for remixing the gender and power dynamics of Sherlock’s opening scene, aka making it fun. Cast off the narrative of shaming, and ogle on your own terms, sisters.

However Improbable

What follows contains no euphemisms. What follows talks about erections, damp knickers, and arousal. Because what follows is the brief tale of how Improbable Press, perhaps the world's tiniest publishing company specialising in Sherlock Holmes erotic and romantic fiction, began, and how it means to go on. Wet panties and all.

Those Were Different Times: The Sexual Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Those inclined to seek homoromantic subtext in Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories have never had to work very hard to envision it. Even in Doyle’s own time, perceptive readers did some subtle winking and nodding and incorporated their findings into their own parodies and homages… Still, it would take nearly a century from Holmes and Watson’s first appearance on the page for them to get an explicit erotic romance of their own. This essay will focus on "The Sexual Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Dr. John Watson, MD.," published in 1971 by Olympia Press. The real author was Larry Townsend, (1930-2008), a California leatherman with a knack for pseudo-Victorian prose...


On Fandom and Passion

How to Set Yourself on Fire

I've written more about Sherlock Holmes than the man who created him. Books, fan fiction, articles, essays; three quarter of a million words. The thing is, I almost stopped so many times. Because I write professionally, people pay me to write about flu jabs and saving for retirement. They did not pay me to write 600,000 words of erotic and romantic Sherlock fan fiction over the course of five years. So I tried quitting...
Benedict Cumberbatch | Hamlet - Stage Door (2015) | photo by Dixiebell

Receiving Arts: The Motivating Power of Fannish Love

Falling in love is not convenient; it’s overwhelming, irrational, and socially disruptive. This emotional intensity is easily pathologized outside of specific acceptable circumstances (a rare folly between unattached young adults) and the analogy between fannish love and passionate love has been used to trivialize the experience of fans, particularly fangirls. Without the possibility of a person reciprocating the affection, we must be wasting our time and effort...