Shadows Over Baker Street

By Michael Reaves

Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes is likely one of the most famed literary figures of all time. For greater than 100 years, his adventures have stood as imperishable monuments to the power of human cause to penetrate each secret, remedy each puzzle, and punish each crime.

For approximately as lengthy, the macabre stories of H. P. Lovecraft have haunted readers with their nightmarish glimpses into nation-states of cosmic chaos and timeless evil. yet what may take place if Conan Doyle’s peerless detective and his allies have been to discover themselves confronted with mysteries whose suggestions lay not just past the snatch of common sense, yet of sanity itself.

In this selection of all-new, all-original stories, twenty of today’s such a lot leading edge writers offer their solutions to that burning question.

“A learn in Emerald” by means of Neil Gaiman: A grotesque homicide exposes a plot opposed to the Crown, a seditious conspiracy so cunningly wrought that just one guy in all London may have deliberate it–and just one guy can desire to forestall it.

“A Case of Royal Blood” by means of Steven-Elliot Altman: Sherlock Holmes and H. G. Wells sign up for forces to guard a princess stalked via a ghost–or maybe whatever a long way worse than a ghost.

“Art within the Blood” by way of Brian Stableford: One man’s awful disease leads Sherlock Holmes to an historic curse that threatens to rouse the crawling chaos snoozing within the blood of all humankind.

“The Curious Case of leave out Violet Stone” by means of Poppy Z. Brite and David Ferguson: a woman who has now not eaten in additional than 3 years teaches Holmes and Watson that usually the very unlikely cannot be eliminated.

“The Horror of the various Faces” by means of Tim Lebbon: Dr. Watson witnesses a maniacal homicide in London–and acknowledges the villain as none except his pal, Mr. Sherlock Holmes.

With those and fourteen different darkish stories of insanity, horror, and deduction, a brand new and negative online game is afoot.

The terrifyingly surreal universe of horror grasp H. P. Lovecraft bleeds into the logical global of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s champion of rational deduction–in those brand-new tales by way of twenty of today’s best horror, secret, fable, and technological know-how fiction writers, including:

• Steven-Elliot Altman
• Elizabeth Bear
• Poppy Z. Brite
• Simon Clark
• David Ferguson
• Paul Finch
• Neil Gaiman
• Barbara Hambly
• Caitlin R. Kiernan
• Tim Lebbon
• James Lowder
• Richard A. Lupoff
• F. Gwynplaine McIntyre
• John Pelan
• Steve Perry
• Michael Reaves
• Brian Stableford
• John P. Vourlis
• David Niall Wilson & Patricia Lee Macomber

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He took my Sarah’s blood from her opposed to my want. ” “Blood, you are saying? How a lot blood used to be taken? ” “A pint,” the crone whispered. “One pint per thirty days for a yr from my pricey one. Siphoned with the harshest of instruments. She have been helpless, sir! ” “To what objective used to be this blood positioned? ” “So the Shoggoth could develop to undergo her likeness— this slave in their revenge. ” The unusual note birthed terror inside of me, for I knew it to be coupled to the dream. “How may this Shoggoth be stopped? ” Holmes demanded, his voice tripping at the alien observe, confirming my dread that it used to be now not of Dutch beginning. “Speak now. I pay attention the captain’s trainer imminent! ” the girl contracted up opposed to the stone within the nook as Holmes’s wide cloak enveloped her. “Find the foundation. Sever the object on the root, lest it develop again, God allemachtig! ” “Where do i locate it? ” “Where it was once begun,” she whispered hoarsely. “The southernmost tip of De Veluwe. ” on the final she collapsed, blathering. We left her there, staring into the locket, to hitch Captain Gent. * * * We took Gent’s trainer, because it used to be extra fortified, and we 3, followed through 5 guardsmen, sped off for the Veluwe, a dense woodland a number of hours’ trip east. The sheer madness of all that had transpired approximately crushed me, and that i struggled to maintain my wits, announcing little, yet fearing a lot. “I belief Sarah Cookson’s identify could be cleared,” Holmes acknowledged to Gent, “seeing that this final assault got here when she used to be held on your custody. ” “The woman can be published, Mr. Holmes, whilst I’m convinced that the princess is secure, now not prior to. ” The damp and evil sounds of the evening elevated tenfold because the street gave method to woodland trails. The hooting of numerous huge grey owls introduced our passage as though telegraphing threat, and Gent’s males started getting ready their rifles with ammunition. “If this can be a trick of the previous girl, she shall pay dearly,” Gent acknowledged. The southernmost tip of the Veluwe was once a wierd little bit of forest. We stepped from the trainer in silence, enthralled through the milky-black stillness. The captain’s males used kerosene lamps to gentle torches, and handed one to me. “See how the timber develop so densely in that patch,” Holmes directed our cognizance. “Most unnatural. ” We approached the cluster of bushes and rotated its perimeter. “Holmes,” I stated, clasping his elbow as we moved, “Do you odor that? an identical smell as from the palace. ” He nodded confirmation as I supressed my urge to run. Holmes was once right: this used to be no common formation of bushes. The trunks have been gnarled with nice tumors, their limbs woven jointly like incestuous fans, the flaking bark of the wooden chilly and slick to touch, just like the dermis of a reptile. The thorned branches thrust sharply outward like claws, and the full progress gave one the influence of many black entities congealed right into a unmarried one. each one step I took used to be hard, every one outthrust root a reason for alarm. Holmes beckoned me with a wave of his torch to a depressing hollow space carved within the wooden. “An orifice,” he whispered, achieving out to the touch the lip of the outlet.

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