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Gaslight Arcanum: Uncanny Tales of Sherlock Holmes

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  235 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews

From the comforting glow of Baker Street gas-lamps to the gloom of the ocean’s depths, Sherlock Holmes lays bare the secrets of men, monsters and evil in twelve new tales of the bizarre, the uncanny and the arcane.

Featuring stories from:

Kim Newman, Christopher Fowler, Stephen Volk, Tom English, William Meikle, Simon K Unsworth, Fred Saberhagen, Simon Clark, Kevin Cockle, L

Kindle Edition, 280 pages
Published September 17th 2011 by EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing (first published September 15th 2011)
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Dec 02, 2014 Ken rated it really liked it
I just finished reading the anthology Gaslight Arcanum: Uncanny Tales of Sherlock Holmes. Reviews of each story are below.

As with any collection, there were highs and lows. Fortunately, the highs greatly outpaced the lows.

As a collection, this is a hearty 4 STARS.

"The Comfort of the Seine" by Stephen Volk

Young Holmes, Edgar Allan Poe and the origins of Holmes as a detective. Great Story!


"The Adventure of Lucifer's Footprint" by Christopher Fowler

This story was missing something.

The flow
Riju Ganguly
Oct 21, 2011 Riju Ganguly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the "Gaslight...." series, this third offering appears to be the weakest, despite a few bright spots. Its contents, and my personal thoughts concerning them, are:

(*) Introduction by Charles Prepolec: a candid view of the origin of this series of Holmes-dealing with-supernatural books, and some thoughts.

1) The Comfort of the Seine by Stephen Volk: a sad piece that suggests why & how Sherlock Holmes might have caught the fever (addiction?) of solving mysteries. Very gothic, very Poe-esque.
Mar 01, 2015 J K rated it it was amazing
Very impressive collection, all enjoyable and all, to my interpretation anyway, seem to nail the character of Holmes, Watson and Moriarty within a collection of supernatural mysteries. Highly recommended indeed.
Nov 04, 2014 Leah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Gaslight Arcanum is actually the third anthology in a series edited by Campbell and Prepolec, its predecessors being Gaslight Grimoire (2008) and Gaslight Grotesque (2010). It is not (with one exception) a reprint anthology. Nothing wrong with those, but in Arcanum, Campbell and Prepolec have brought together a collection of new stories by very talented and respected writers. Some stories may be familiar to you, as they have since been reprinted elsewhere, but here they mark their débuts. Let’s
Philip Jones
Sep 28, 2012 Philip Jones rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection is the fifth by this pair of editors and it is, perhaps, their best yet. The first two collections consisted mostly of more conventional writings that told some of the Untold Tales. The three later collections lean strongly toward the eerie and outré. A few of the tales in this book can be explained by modern science and rational circumstances, but even that is not always comforting. All are interesting, some are exceptional and a few are unpleasant.

“The Comfort of the Seine” is
As always in an anthology of stories, some appeal and some don't. The best story by far was Kim Newman's 'The Adventure of the Six Maledictions' - part of his Moriarty & Moran Victorian mash-up series - but unfortunately I'd already read it. Still, it's an excellent story (without it, I'd have given this 3 stars). I also enjoyed Christopher Fowler's effort - he has a good knack for Holmes stories. I also liked the story he wrote told from Mrs Hudson's point of view.

I enjoyed most of them, b
Sep 02, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here is a new collection of fantasy/mystery stories about that most famous of detectives, Sherlock Holmes.

Who was Sherlock Holmes before he became a famous detective? He was a student at Cambridge University, who, while living in Paris, learned the art of detection from another famous person, Edgar Allan Poe. Holmes and Watson travel to the English countryside, where, according to the locals, the Devil himself is causing hoofprints from invisible horses to appear in the turf during frequent stor
Danny Dunn
Oct 06, 2012 Danny Dunn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In my opinion very true to the characters of Holmes and Watson, at least as close as possible given the setting.
Jan 15, 2013 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good stories by good authors. An anthology well worth reading if you like Sherlock on the dark side.
Anna Lord
Jan 28, 2016 Anna Lord rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love a book of short stories for lots of reasons but the main one is the bringing together of different authorial voices. Here, some tales are more gripping than others but none are disappointing. Genres you wouldn't normally wade through in a large novel take you quickly to new worlds when served up short and sweet - science fiction, horror fiction, gung-ho adventure - they are all here. Sherlock and a Satanic diving bell, Sherlock and Poe, Sherlock and some mutant bees, and the tongue-in-che ...more
I was expecting a collection of mystery/detective stories featuring supernatural/paranormal features. That's not what this collection contains, though. Several of the stories are mysterious, but only one or two are actual mysteries.

I prefer Watson to accompany my Holmes, so I wasn't thrilled with "The Comfort of the Seine" from the start. But Holmes was so out-of-character that I couldn't finish the story.

"The Adventure of Lucifer's Footprints" by Christopher Fowler is weak at best. It's a sketc
Feb 17, 2012 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 24, 2011 robyn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
As a horror OR a Holmes collection, this is so-so. Its best horror story left me disgruntled, due to an unexpected but unwelcome twist, and its best overall story doesn't contain Holmes at all, it's about Moriarty and Moran. The best story ABOUT Holmes was probably the first one, The Comfort of the Seine, and that's less because I actually liked it than because it was original and presented a dark, interesting slant on Holmes' emotional distance.

Here and there, there was a line or a story plot t
Jenny T
This anthology of paranormal-themed Sherlock Holmes tales was a bit lukewarm, except for the first and last stories. The Comfort of the Seine by Stephen Volk proposed an intriguing idea for Holmes's origins and captured the language of the originals beautifully. The Adventure of the Six Maledictions by Kim Newman was an absolute treat, told from the point of view (and in the unique voice) of one of Moriarty's henchmen.

Worth requesting from the library for those two stories!
Sep 09, 2011 Eddy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My full review is on Flames Rising:

Conclusion: Every anthology ends up having a few stories that don’t appeal, and this one is much the same. But most of the stories are good for a variety of reasons, and the last two stories are absolutely worth the price of admission. If you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes and novel approaches to well-loved characters, this anthology is well worth a look.
Any multi-author anthology is likely to be uneven. Mixing the macabre with Sherlock Holmes adds to that, as it may places Holmes in an environment that you are uncomfortable with. A few of the stories were pretty good (especially the one about the very young Holmes and the one the one with no Holmes at all, written by Sebastian Moran), but several of them were just a little too weird for my tastes.
Jun 30, 2013 Leslie rated it it was ok
I would have given this book three stars, but I found the last story to be just so excruciatingly long and dull that it knocks a star off for me. It seems that a lot of reviewers don't agree with me, since quite a few seem to be citing that story as the best, but I kept wondering if it would ever end. De gustibus non est disputandum!
May 07, 2014 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nowhere near as good as the precious entries in this series. Saved only by the inclusion of gems like Kim Newman's "The Adventure of the Six Maledictions"
Krista Ivy
amazing short stories that bring into question how Sherlock Holmes would respond to the supernatural. Some where he is actually a part of it himself.
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Baker Street Irre...: Gaslight Arcanum: Uncanny Tales of Sherlock Holmes 18 42 Nov 10, 2015 03:14AM  
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Charles V. Prepolec was born in 1966 and is a native of Calgary, AB, Canada. He is a freelance writer, editor and reviewer. His articles, interviews, artwork and reviews have appeared in Scarlet Street, Sherlock, All-Hallows, and Canadian Holmes as well as fanzines Peladon Press and Into the Vortex. He has been acknowledged for various contributions in Starring Sherlock Holmes (Rev. Ed. Titan Book ...more
More about Charles Prepolec...

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