Neil Gaiman calls his "A Study in Emerald"* a Lovecraft/Sherlock Holmes fanfiction. And indeed it is exactly that: it uses the narration and story structure pretty characteristic to one from Arthur Conan Doyle's stories about the famous detective. The difference is in the background: in this story, the Cthulhu Mythos Creatures live happily among us... mostly as nobility, which is happy to devour body, mind or soul of any commoner.

In the story, the narrator returns from the war in Afghanistan and finds a room with an eccentric genius living at Baker Street. Soon, they are approached by Scotland Yard to help solving the murder of a German prince, whose green blood has been splattered over the walls.

The antagonists are apparently a doctor and an actor who enjoys changing his appearance.

So my question is - if we assume that this is indeed the world of Arthur Conan Doyle - who is who from the "Sherlock Holmes" universe? Is it (as in the original) Holmes and Watson chasing Moriarty and his cronies, even if they've committed murder to protect humanity? Or is it other way around - Holmes and Watson are the outlaws being pursued by the law-abiding Moriarty?

1 Answer 1


Holmes and Watson are the criminals being chased by James Moriarty and Sebastian Moran.

Some of the clues about the main characters:

  • It mentions 'The Dynamics of an Asteroid' as the paper written by the detective friend; this is written by Moriarty in Doyle's works.
  • The narrator tells what a crack shot he was, as Moran is -- and as Watson never was
  • The narrator is both referred to as Sebastian and has the initials SM.

Watson is indeed identified as not only the "Limping Doctor", but explicitly as "John (or perhaps James) Watson".

Holmes is referred as Sigerson, an alias he used in Doyle's stories, and his disguise skills have been repurposed to make him an actor.

  • 1
    And 'Sherry' is a reasonable shortening of 'Sherlock'.
    – dbmag9
    Commented Sep 5, 2020 at 14:40
  • 2
    In "The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter," Sherlock Holmes claims that "my grandmother... was the sister of Vernet, the French artist," which gives the link to Sherry Vernet's surname as well. Commented Sep 5, 2020 at 20:26

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