Holmes Sherlock: A Hwarhath Mystery
by Eleanor Aronson
Edited by Jonathan Strahan
Review by Sam Tomaino
Date: 23 November 2012
The Eclipse original anthology series from Night Shade Books is now available free online www.nightshadebooks.com/eclipse/.
For the last time, I'll quote, editor Jonathan Strahan about the new series: "We've taken the dream of Eclipse -- that idea of the rare and unusual, the strange and eldritch -- and we've stripped it down and rebuilt it for a new decade. Now we're taking it out for a spin. There may be things added to it in the coming months, and things removed, but at its core there will be at least two new stories every month, the best I can find by the most exciting writers in the field."
Eclipse Online is a free, online publication. No subscription or sign-up is required. A story will be released by editor Jonathan Strahan every first and fourth Monday of the month and they stay around for a while. Check them out. Each new story will be reviewed separately. This third one, "Holmes Sherlock: A Hwarhath Mystery" by Eleanor Aronson, was posted on November 12, 2012.
This is set on the planet of the hwarhath, an alien species created by Aronson, in her novel Ring of Swords. The species is humanoid and similar to us with one big exception. In their culture, homosexual relationships are the norm. Reproduction only happens by artificial insemination or brief mating contracts. Our main character, Kla, makes a living by translating the writing of their only known competitor species in the galaxy, the humans. Kla is especially enamored of the stories about the human Holmes Sherlock. She does not care for another story she was assigned to translate about a human woman named Bovary Emma. She thinks it is too controversial to be published.
When a distant cousin of Kla goes missing, her grandmother, knowing of these Holmes Sherlock stories, asks her to investigate. With her lover, a doctor named Mel, she investigates and does some "dog that did not bark in the nighttime" sleuthing. The solution tells us something about hwarhath society. This was quite interesting, not for the mystery, but for the look at another culture.
Look for this and more stories at www.nightshadebooks.com/eclipse/.