As part of my Guest blog series for authors and fellow bloggers I am proud to present another guest blog spot. Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell I am very excited andthe author of
byis out NOW!
So go grab a copy!
The title for this particular blog post comes from the introduction to Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell, my new mass market book from Solaris which pits the World’s Greatest Detective against Clive Barker’s most famous villains: the Cenobites! In it author and actress Barbie Wilde – who knows a thing or two about Hellraiser, having played the Female Cenobite in Hellbound, and is a massive Holmes fan – says that when I asked her to pen something for it: ‘My first thought was: “Egads! What kind of infernal ‘mashup’ is this?” Of course, my second thought was: “What a brilliant idea!”’
That seems to have been the reaction from most people, a kind of ‘what the Hell?’ literally… followed by ‘actually, this really works’ – something that we’re seeing now in the reviews thankfully. After all, isn’t this the ultimate puzzle solver vs. the ultimate puzzle, especially in the form of the Lament Configuration puzzle box?
So, when I was asked to write this guest post to promote the book, I began to think about the ‘infernal mashups’ I had that same reaction to – some of which even inspired the writing of the novel…
In the late ‘80s, early ‘90s Epic comics began a comic spin-off from Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, featuring stories from the likes of Neil Gaiman, Larry – now Lana – Wachowski, Peter Atkins (who wrote Hellraisers II – IV) and erstwhile Chatterer Cenobite Nick Vince, illustrated by such luminaries as Mike ‘Hellboy’ Mignola, Dave ‘Sandman’ McKean and John ‘Aliens’ Bolton. It was a terrific run of comics (which were actually more like books because they were perfect-bound) and stories; these, more than anything else, showed me what could really be done within the Hellraiser universe, the scope that it had. We flitted through time from the Medieval period to the American West and then to the present day, tackling all kinds of issues from racism to abortion. Not long after the movie adaptation of Cabal came out, called Nightbreed – adapted and directed again by Clive – Epic also brought out a comic of the same name. This took up the story form the end of the film, and even had the ‘breed coming across another famous monster of Clive’s, Rawhead Rex – a crossover in itself. So I suppose it wasn’t that much of a surprise when the Nightbreed and Cenobites appeared in their own crossover title, Jihad. A two-parter event released in 1991, Dan Chichester and Paul Johnson’s tale of a major clash of personalities – the ‘breed represent chaos, while the Cenobites are in favour of order – culminates in a battle that has to be seen to be believed; something that definitely influenced the finale of Servants. This is quite simply wonderful, so you should track it down if you can.
Freddy vs. Jason
As a fan of both the Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th movies, when I first heard about this crossover, to be directed by Ronny Yu, I’ll admit I had reservations. Freddy and Jason…in the same film? How was that going to work? Turns out it worked surprisingly well, at least in my opinion. Okay, so the film has its problems and it suffers from that old chestnut of not wanting to come down on one side or the other, a bit like this year’s Batman vs Superman, but it’s a fun watch nevertheless – and the dream device that allows both anti-heroes to exist in the same place is pretty interesting, playing on Jason’s legendary love for his mother. What makes me sad about it probably isn’t what you’re expecting. Because of the success of this one there was talk of a Helloween movie, which would have seen Michael Myers inhabit the same universe as the Cenobites. It was going to be written by Clive and directed by John Carpenter and in my head it would have been fantastic. What a wasted opportunity…
The League of Extraordinary Gentleman
Quite possibly the mashup to end all mash-ups, Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s excellent comic threw all sorts into the mix. Also set in Victorian times, like Servants, this saw Mina Murray, from Stoker’s Dracula, joining forces with the likes of Allan Quatermain, Dr Jekyll, Captain Nemo and a version of the Invisible Man, Hawley Griffin, to put paid to a gang war between Professor Moriarty and Fu Manchu. How could it be anything but brilliant, especially when they also become embroiled in events from Wells’ War of the Worlds and meet John Carter in Volume 2? Adapted for the screen and starring Sean Connery as Quartermain, the movie was fun, even if it did miss the point a bit.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
The one that kicked off this current unstoppable trend of mashups, Seth Grahame-Smith – also responsible for Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter – had the crazy idea of putting the ‘Walking Dead’ into this classic novel by Jane Austen. And the result was…nothing short of genius! The Quirk book sold stupid amounts of copies and a deluxe edition even went on sale with full colour images and additional zombie scenes. It was also adapted into a comic by Tony Lee and a riotous film this year starring Dr Who’s Matt Smith and Cinderella’s Lily James. Without this, we would have no Android Karenina, Little Women and Werewolves or Jane Slayre – and we would certainly have no Servants.
Dracula vs. Hitler
I’m going out on a limb here, because this book by Patrick Sheane Duncan isn’t even out until later this year – but it sounds incredible. Van Helsing unleashing his greatest enemy on the Nazis and Hitler? Sign me up… According to such people as Felicia Day the battle scenes are ‘truly awesome’ so what could go wrong? I’m looking forward to this almost as much as I am my fellow Holmes author Mark Latham’s A Betrayal in Blood, where our hero also meets the caped one. Fangtastic!
Paul Kane is the award-winning, bestselling author and editor of over sixty books – including the Arrowhead trilogy (gathered together in the sellout Hooded Man omnibus, revolving around a post-apocalyptic version of Robin Hood), Hellbound Hearts and Monsters. His non-fiction books include The Hellraiser Films and Their Legacy and Voices in the Dark, and his genre journalism has appeared in the likes of SFX, Rue Morgue and DeathRay. His work has been optioned and adapted for the big and small screen, including for US network television, plus his latest novels are Lunar (set to be turned into a feature film), the Y.A. story The Rainbow Man (as P.B. Kane), the sequel to RED – Blood RED – and Sherlock Holmes and The Servants of Hell from Solaris. He lives in Derbyshire, UK, with his wife Marie O’Regan, his family and a black cat called Mina. Find out more at his site http://www.shadow-writer.co.uk which has featured Guest Writers such as Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Charlaine Harris, Dean Koontz and Guillermo del Toro.
- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Solaris (July 12, 2016)
- ISBN-10: 1781084556
- ISBN-13: 978-1781084557
Sherlock Holmes faces his greatest challenge yet when he meets the Cenobites, the infamous servants of hell.
Late 1895, and Sherlock Holmes and his faithful companion Dr John Watson are called upon to investigate a missing persons case. On the face of it, this seems like a mystery that Holmes might relish – as the person in question vanished from a locked room – and something to occupy him other than testing the limits of his mind and body.
But this is just the start of an investigation that will draw the pair into contact with a shadowy organisation talked about in whispers and known only as ‘The Order of the Gash’. As more and more people go missing in a similar fashion, the clues point to a sinister asylum in France and to the underworld of London. However, it is an altogether different underworld that Holmes will soon discover – as he finds himself face to face not only with those followers who do the Order’s bidding on Earth, but those who serve it in Hell: the Cenobites…