Sherlock Holmes and Science Fiction

A video lecture hosted by Dr. Amy H Sturgis.

What does the world’s only consulting detective have to do with science fiction? What was the relationship of his creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, to the genre? Why have so many science fiction authors since Doyle found ways to incorporate Holmes into their works? What is the unique history between Holmes’s world and H.P. Lovecraft’s? In what ways has Holmes been recreated and reimagined via science fiction over the years? What is it about Holmes that makes him so at home – and popular! – in the 21st century?

Part One of this live “Looking Back in Genre History” event will have two sections.

The first section will focus on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as a science fiction writer. We’ll explore his SF writings and consider how he infused his Sherlock Holmes novellas and stories with a SF sensibility.

In the second section, we will consider how (and why) other SF authors over a century have “borrowed” Sherlock Holmes for their own genre writings. What is it about the Great Detective that continues to fascinate and inform creators and consumers of SF?

Part Two of the event also will be divided into two parts:

In the first, we’ll discuss the unique “sub-sub-genre” that combines the Holmesian world and the universe created by H.P. Lovecraft. Why have so many authors mixed Sherlock Holmes with the Cthulhu mythos?

In the final section, we will revisit the ways in which Sherlock Holmes has appeared in other SF media, from Doctor Who to Star Trek, including the BBC’s new critical and popular success, Sherlock.


Questions and Answers at the end.

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