This past Tuesday, Titan Books went to street with its new edition of a Philip Jose Farmer classic, "The Peerless Peer". The tale is one of the foundations for the concept of the Wold Newton Universe, with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson meeting the Lord of the Apes, Tarzan.
I still have my paperback from the mid-70's, back when I devoured anything I could find about Holmes. I always had a fondness for the pastiches, since that was how I first got into Sherlockiana, via Nicholas Meyers' "The Seven Per Cent Solution". And after reading the omnibus collection of Conan Doyle's works, I think "The Peerless Peer" was next on the list.
This all followed on the heels of my reading the "Incompleat Enchanter" series of stories by Fletcher Pratt and L. Sprague deCamp, and the combination of the two were the guiding forces into my own foray into shared universes with the Toobworld Dynamic.
Having made frequent visits to the Wold Newton site run by Mr. Farmer's worthy acolyte Win Scott Eckert, and having read several of Win's books on the subject, I feel it's time to read "The Peerless Peer" once more. Although it was a "cracking read" the first time round, I'm sure there were plenty of references to other sources that went right over my head back then. Now I'll be able to more fully enjoy the experience.
And I plan to order this edition to do so, for two reasons. One is that I'm not sure my battered old paperback from thirty plus years back should be subjected to any further wear and tear - much safer to leave it tucked away in the crate full of other books on Sherlock Holmes.
The second reason is that I want to do my part in showing support for this new line from Titan Books. See, on the back cover the novel is trumpeted as being a "Wold Newton Universe Novel". And should Titan Books see that there is interest in such a line, other books may follow. And fans of the Wold Newton concept can only benefit from that.
Of course, from the Toobworld perspective it doesn't work, unfortunately. The adventure takes place as the stage is set for World War I, and while the TV Sherlock Holmes would be present during that time period, the tele-Tarzan was to be found in the late 1960's. Still, that's all for the best, I think. The differences between the two shared universes might spark interest in them both from each concept's fans.
If "The Peerless Peer" sounds like something you might be interested in as well, check out these links:
The Peerless Peer by Philip José Farmer - Direct from Titan Books - Afterword by Win Scott Eckert
* BN NOOKbook (eBook)