Thu 9 Nov 2006
HEN I FIRST HEARD THE NAME OF SOLAR PONS, some ten years ago, at first I mentally grouped him with the other (often badly written) parodies like Hemlock Sholmes. A huge disservice, I realised soon thereafter, for Solar Pons is one of the few pastiche series that can actually come close to those of ACD’s original creations. In fact, this detective has quite a few fans of his own, the most enthusiastic of which is undoubtedly Bob Byrne, whose true labour of love, the website SolarPons.com, along with his sumptuously written and illustrated Solar Pons Gazette, is a veritable monument to August Derleth’s creation.
I’ve asked Bob to write a short introduction to Solar Pons for us, and he has graced us with the following….
Who is that? The Sherlock Holmes reader is painfully aware of how many stories featuring the world’s first consulting detective are available. While many are of admirable quality, many, many more are not. But one suspects that the Master himself would flash that wry
smile in acknowledging that the finest pastiches feature a detective not named Holmes! Young August Derleth, disappointed to learn that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would not be writing any additional Holmes tales, took it upon himself to continue the tradition of the great detective. Thus was created Solar Pons, ‘The Sherlock Holmes of Praed Street.’
Solar Pons and his trustworthy companion, Doctor Parker, reside at 7B Praed Street, taken care of by their long-suffering landlady, Mrs. Johnson. Of the multitude to follow in the footsteps of Sir Arthur, none as faithfully evoke the images of the dynamic duo from Baker Street. The spirit of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson lives on in the tales of August Derleth.
www.SolarPons.com is the first website dedicated solely to the adventures of Solar Pons. The Holmes fan that has not yet discovered these stories is likely in for a treat.
If you haven’t yet seen it, count on spending an entertaining hour or so browsing through his lavish Solar Pons Gazette, of which I’m told there is a short Christmas issue forthcoming, to be followed by another large edition next year.
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