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THE CURSE OF THE BASKERVILLES by Jonathan Green

The Hound by Paget

Sherlock Holmes, the pipe-smoking, cocaine-taking detective whose adventures were faithfully recounted by his loyal companion Dr Watson, is undergoing something of a make-over. Just as the BBC reinvented him for a modern television audience, now Fringeworks will be reinventing him as a steampunk hero, bringing him to life in the first of an ongoing series of novels revisiting the original canon of Sherlock Holmes. Known as The Moriarty Paradigm, the series will be set in an alternate British Empire created by the genius of James Moriarty, time traveller.

The most famous of all Sherlock Holmes novels, The Hound of the Baskervilles, will be re-imagined as The Curse of the Baskervilles by Jonathan Green, the King of British Steampulp and creator of Abaddon’s Pax Britannia series and Her Majesty knows how many gamebooks. It will be published later in 2013.

> We asked Jonathan how he would approach bringing steampunk elements into Holmes’ most notorious adventure.

Two words; ‘very’ and ‘carefully’! It would be all too easy to re-write The Hound of the Baskervilles, throwing in a few steampunk clichés here and there. However, that would be totally disrespectful of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s accomplishments – the equivalent of sticking a few gears on a pair of boots and branding them ‘steampunk’.

Instead, I want to make sure that the steampunk aspect becomes intrinsic to the plot, and that will involve quite a bit of head-scratching, I’m sure.

> As a prolific and well known veteran of the British steampunk scene, will this be your first attempt at working Sherlock Holmes into the steampunk genre?

It will be, strangely enough, although it won’t be my last.
When Abaddon Books were still accepting open pitches for Pax Britannia novels, somebody did pitch one that featured Sherlock Holmes. But, in the end, it wasn’t to be.

>Hound was the most gothic of the Holmes adventures, and the story keeps you wondering if the resolution is supernatural or grounded in reality. Will you be doing the same?

Absolutely! I believe that it’s the supernatural aspect of the story (whether it really is supernatural or not) that makes Hound the most memorable of all the Sherlock Holmes canon and the consulting detective’s most well-known adventure. To remove that questionable paranormal element would be to lose a vital part of the story.

>How does helping to build a shared fictional universe compare to creating one of your own?

Both bring their own challenges. Everything that exists within the world of Pax Britannia is there because I put it there, or because I agreed to its inclusion. However, the down side of that is that it’s a lot of hard work!

Working as part of a group, and making sure everyone’s ideas and opinions are listened to and valued, involves another skill set altogether. But when a group of like-minded people get together and bounce ideas off one another, who knows where they might end up taking an idea?

This project is a perfect example. It’s going to be a very exciting venture. As Holmes himself would say, the game is afoot!

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This entry was posted by Fringeworks in Fringeworks News on Monday, January 28th 2013 at 5:07 PM.
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