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The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
edited by John Joseph Adams
Narrated by Simon Vance and Anne Flosnik
Brilliance Audio, 21.5 hours

The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
John Joseph Adams
John Joseph Adams is the editor of such anthologies as Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse (Night Shade Books, January 2008), Seeds of Change (Prime Books, Summer 2008), and The Living Dead (Night Shade Books, Fall 2008). He was also the assistant editor at The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and is now the editor of Lightspeed and Fantasy Magazine. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from The University of Central Florida in December 2000. He currently lives in New Jersey.

John Joseph Adams Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Federations
SF Site Review: Wastelands
SF Site Review: Wastelands

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Gil T. Wilson

"Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." The defining quote Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote for Holmes is what guides this collection, which explores the improbable and bends the limits on improbability. There are 28 stories in this collection, written by authors whose specialties range throughout the science fiction, horror and fantasy realms. Included in this stellar writing cast are Neil Gaiman, Tanith Lee, Laurie R. King, Anthony Burgess, and Stephen Baxter, to name just a few.

Some of the stories in this collection are rewrites of original Holmes adventures, such as "A Study in Emerald," by Neil Gaiman. Gaiman takes the introductory story to Holmes' adventure, "A Study in Scarlet," and places Holmes and Watson in an alternate universe in which Lovecraftian creatures have invaded the Earth and rule the continents. In the original story, scarlet referred to the color of the blood of the murder victim and in this story, emerald refers to the alien's greenish blood color. Because I was familiar with the original story, I found Gaiman's take on this story to be the most fun to hear -- especially how the aliens created a strange interpretation of the clues Holmes had to decipher.

The other stories have Holmes travelling through time, meeting with authors Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and H.G. Wells and explaining his three years of missing time when Watson believed him to be dead at the hands of Professor Moriarty. Whether you are a Sherlock Holmes fan or a fan of speculative fiction, you will enjoy listening to this collection. There is a bit of something for everyone here, even some normal Holmes adventures that just don't seem to be solvable by Holmes.

The narrators, Simon Vance and Anne Flosnik, swap reading duties depending on whether the story is told from a male or female point of view. Anne Flosnik reads the stories using various accents and emotions perfectly. However, the gem in this audio book, in my opinion, is Simon Vance. Throughout the book, Vance captures the characters of Holmes and Watson flawlessly. No matter where the adventure takes them, he is consistent with their vocal qualities and that keeps the listener tuned in to the adventure. I know there were several times I couldn't stop listening until Holmes solved the crime.

Copyright © 2010 Gil T. Wilson

Gil T. has spent a quarter of a century working in radio and has lots of spare time on his hands and reading or listening to books takes up all that time. Check out his blog to find out what he's up to at any given moment.

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