"to take stock of the situation" [CREE]
Somehow, another year has managed to slip past us seemingly in the blink of an eye. Current geopolitical rumblings, from Brexit to the U.S. presidential election may have left the world in tumult, but here in the world of Sherlock Holmes, things remain constant. In the words of Vincent Starrett, BSI ("A Study in Scarlet") in his storied poem "221B,"
Here, though the world explode, these two survive,
And it is always eighteen ninety-five.
At I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere, we had another successful year, thanks in no small part to our contributors and to you, our readers. We thought we would take a look at just what made up that success, by breaking things down into a few different categories.
By the Numbers"numbers visible to my lens" [SIGN]
It's always difficult to take the passion and emotion behind a hobby and convert it into numbers, but numbers are data points and when viewed properly, data can tell a story. After all, Sherlock Holmes himself said "Data! data! data! I can't make bricks without clay," in "The Copper Beeches." So let's have a look.
- 1,244: The number of posts that have been published on IHOSE since our inception in 2005.
- 142: In terms of the number of posts we published, 2016 will place a very respectable third, with 142 entries for the year. Only 2007 and 2015 had more, with 160 and 199 entries, respectively.
- 45%: Our contributors (more about them below) accounted for 45 percent of those 142 entries on the site.
- 19: We had occasion to be in Sydney, NSW, Australia in late April, marking 19 years since we had last visited. As any such visit should include, we connected with The Sydney Passengers.
- 24: The number of new episodes of the IHOSE podcast, published the 15th and the 30th of every month.
- 8: We published eight "terraces," or obituaries in 2016. While a number of members of the BSI passed away again this year, most of the terraces we published were celebrities, an editorial decision on our part, to avoid making the site too morbid.
- 5: We counted five sponsors to the show this year, from our faithful two, Wessex Press and The Baker Street Journal, to newcomers the John H. Watson Society, Paula Berinstein's Amanda Lester series, and Dan Andriacco.
- 4: We were asked by MASTERPIECE to host the #SherlockPBS live tweet for a fourth time, for the premiere of Sherlock: The Abominable Bride in January. We'll reprise that role for a fifth time tomorrow night with Series 4.
Our Contributors"it may contribute something to the common cause" [VALL]
If anything, we have learned that this site is more of a community than a destination. And our many contributors make that possible. In 2016, we had 15 separate authors who contributed when the mood struck them. We're grateful to them for their hard work and passion, and we have a few highlights below. Click on their names to see the entirety of their work.
- Anastasia Klimchynskaya - We were treated to an international journey as Anastasia took us to Moscow and shared her Sherlockian discoveries there.
- Chris Redmond - We never know what to expect from Chris Redmond, but we know that every topic will be of high quality. Chris led the pack with 17 separate entries this year.
- Cory Howell - Who better to look at an analysis of the popularity of Tarzan versus the popularity of Sherlock Holmes over the years?
- Crystal Noll - The role of international correspondent is never easy, and Crystal came through with her reporting on the re-opening of the Sherlock Holmes Pub.
- Derrick Belanger - Our second most prolific contributor is always at the ready with an interview or book review.
- Gordon Dymowski - a stalwart reviewer for us, Gordon put his talents to work again at the connection of Holmes and comics.
- James O'Leary - the editor of the John H. Watson Society's publication The Watsonian found time to contribute thoughtful essays here once more, many centered around Elementary.
- Katie Magnusson - Katie is always ready and willing to help out with book reviews, and she did her fair share again this year.
- Leah Guinn - In her first essay with us, Leah turned to friendship — an enduring theme of the Sherlockian world.
- Margaret McMahon - Margaret turned her sights on The Abominable Bride this year, and found a curious parallel.
- Mattias Boström - We can always count on Mattias to create a controversy or fact-check the wider media world. And he didn't disappoint this year.
- Rachel Gosch - Rachel is a new contributor, but she didn't let that stop her, with a number of reviews already to her name.
- Rob Nunn - From New Year's resolutions to an obscure animated program, Rob brought us a variety of insights this year.
- Robert Stek - Some might say Bob is as mad as a hatter for pursuing his interest in Lewis Carroll the same way he does for Sherlock Holmes, but we're just fortunate to have the inveterate punster with us.
- Tim Greer - Theatrical is a word that could describe Tim's pursuits and his demeanor. And he's an excellent source of fodder.
Our Show"now then, listen to this" [SIGN]
This was the first full year of the new show schedule, which we revamped in October 2015. The clockwork-like release of our podcast episodes on the 15th and 30th of every month, alternating one interview and one commentary show, mean predictability for our listeners. It also means stretching for topics for those commentary shows and scrambling to record, edit and post episodes when work, travel or family commitments are looming over us.
Some of the more notable episodes this year included:
- Episode 89: in which we interviewed Evy Herzog and Susan Rice about The Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes. We heard from many listeners about this episode, particularly of the emotional re-telling of the first female investitures in the Baker Street Irregulars.
- Book shows: we interviewed a number of authors about their books, including Maria Konnikova, Bob Katz and Andy Solberg, Leah Guinn and Jamie Mahoney, Chris Redmond, Rebecca Romney, Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger, and Lyndsay Faye and Ashley Polasek.
- Episode 100: our centenary was a celebration of the people, voices and memorable moments in IHOSE history. We're looking forward to our next milestone episode.
Passings"stand with me here upon the terrace" [LAST]
In the wider world, a number of celebrity deaths made 2016 seem like a particularly cruel year. Partially because some of them were icons in their industries, like David Bowie or Alan Rickman; and partially because some of them were particularly young, like George Michael (53), Prince (57), Carrie Fisher (60). And the tragic two day span in which both Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds died left an indelible mark in 2016.
In the Sherlockian world, we felt the impact as well:
- Alan Rickman: this one took many people by surprise, and occurred during the BSI Weekend, leaving us scrambling to cover it.
- Frank Finlay: occupying non-consecutive decades of Sherlock Holmes association, Finlay was a staunch performer.
- Douglas Wilmer: not only did Douglas Wilmer portray Sherlock Holmes on film, television and audio books, but he was also a member of the BSI. And your editor hosted him in Boston.
- Gene Wilder: another surprise to many, Wilder was fondly remembered for his manic peformances, of which Sherlock Holmes's Smarter Brother was an underrated one.
- Fritz Weaver: we were fortunate to have interviewed Weaver on Episode 26 of our program. He was a delight.
- Andrew Sachs: following in Michael Williams' footsteps on the BBC radio series with Clive Merrison would have been daunting for any actor. Sachs was not only up to the task, but he gave a solid and believable performance.
- Peter Vaughan: more widely recognized of late because of his Game of Thrones role, we can say, "we knew him when..."
The Future"Ah! my dear Watson, there we come into those realms of conjecture" [EMPT]
Before we discuss what the future holds, please make sure you check out our Archive. The right rail here on our site contains a box with the categories Popular / Comments / Archive. Click on that to display posts from any given timeframe.
Meanwhile, what will the future hold for IHOSE? It may not be all that far away, actually. As Bill Watterson wrote, "The problem with the future is that it keeps turning into the present." We'll continue to cover the news of the Sherlockian world and its intersections with popular culture, as we've been doing for a decade. We'd like to make it easier for Sherlockians everywhere to discover events near them, and we're working on a solution for that.
On our show, expect to discover some familiar names and some newcomers as well, as we continue to bring you the most interesting and relevant interviews. Given the lineup, we may be required to eliminate our every-other episode schedule of interviews and simply produce as many of them as needed in our 24-episode schedule for 2017.
And finally, we'll be launching a companion audio program that will have its own site and identity. We have a name and a theme picked out, but we're not at liberty to share it yet. All we can tell you is that this will be a weekly audio show that delves into the Sherlock Holmes stories. We'd appreciate your support when it launches. Stay tuned!
Thank you so much for being part of our little world here, whether you're a long-time subscriber or a first-time visitor. If you haven't already, please sign up for free email updates from us. And if you're so inclined, help support the future of this site by becoming a patron.