“You Scintillate Today!”: Register for Free Virtual Scintillation of Scions XIII

Bring fellow Sherlockians into your dreary lockdown! A Scintillation of Scions, the annual literary symposium sponsored by Watson’s Tin Box of Ellicott City, MD, has announced SOS At Home, a virtual version of this year’s event.

The symposium will take place over Zoom on Saturday, June 13, 2020, at 12 noon ET (that’s—*gulp*—9 am for us Left Coasters). It is free, but you must register at the SOS website.

Scheduled Events

  • Talks by Ray Betzner, Ashley Polasek, Steve Mason, Julie McKuras,Howard Ostrom, Daniel Stashower, and Dana Richards
  • Some sort of version of the running of the Silver Blaze (Southern Division)
  • A screening of the 1976 comedy-mystery The Return of the World’s Greatest Detective, featuring Larry Hagman (!) as Sherman Holmes—an L.A. cop who falls off his motorcycle, strikes his head, and wakes up believing he’s Sherlock Holmes—with Jenny O’Hara as his social worker, Dr. Joan Watson. (We wouldn’t miss this obscure non-classic for the world!)

The organizers are also working on interactive options for attendees, including a Zoom conference room. Any questions? Email the organizers at scintillation.of.scions@outlook.com

While you’re registering, be sure to check out the Swag Shop or consider a donation to help defray the cost of the event. Your Gazetteer is wavering between these two shirts:

An enthusiastic “Halloa!” goes out to the folks at Scintillation of Scions who are volunteering their efforts to help us celebrate our love of Holmes and Watson despite the pandemic. Let us come Together Apart.

See you all on June 13th!

Good News for Biblioholics: LibraryThing Cataloging Site Now Free to All

Frank Wiles, “The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger,” 1927

Lomax, the Sub-Librarian would applaud. LibraryThing, the site your humble Gazetteer has used to manage her collection of books for about 15 years, has now removed all fees and book limits, without the addition of ads. The fees were always low, but in response to the global pandemic, both the site and its mobile app (which allows you to add books by using the phone’s camera to scan the ISBN barcodes) are now completely free to use.

Your Gazetteer has long preferred LibraryThing to GoodReads, and is taking this opportunity to recommend it to all. It’s flexible and easy to use, and it includes enjoyable social features (while allowing you to keep your library or individual books private if you desire).

Some of the Gazetteer’s books

Your book information is not collected for marketing; the site uses it only for gathering information on books and authors (as in this page for Arthur Conan Doyle). Members also engage in collective endeavors such as entering the personal libraries of famous people. This is an excellent opportunity to give it a try.

Perhaps it will even spur the Gazetteer to finish entering all of her books.

Note: This is not an official endorsement by the NMSOBC.

“Some Poor Bibliophile”: Free Sherlockian E-Books from Belanger!

All through the month of April, Belanger Books is offering free Sherlockian e-books each week to help those of us who need more reading material during the Covid-19 lockdown. This week, the books are The Papers of Solar Pons, by David Marcum (hmm, a pastiche of a pastiche), and Sherlock Holmes: Adventures Beyond the Canon, Vol. 1, a 29-story anthology edited by Marcum. For the next 48 hours, C. Edward Davis’s illustrated steampunk novella The Voyage of the Lunar Schooner is free as well. You can download this week’s books here. Check back with their blog each week for more free books!

We’d be remiss if we promoted the giveaway without mentioning Belanger’s current Kickstarter project, Sherlock Holmes and the Great Detectives, which has already reached nearly five times its original goal with 20 days to go. If you’re interested in stories about the Master teaming up with other great detectives from the Victorian and Edwardian eras, take a look.

“It is not eight o’clock, and a Wagner night at Covent Garden!”: Opera from Your Couch

Illustration by Sidney Paget, 1891, for “The Red-Headed League”

For those who enjoy opera—even when it doesn’t feature the famous contralto Miss Irene Adler—the Metropolitan Opera in NY is streaming a different performance from their Live in HD series each night, providing one more way to enjoy cultural experiences while confined to your home.

Selected upcoming performances:

  • March 29: Wagner’s Tännhauser (Holmes loved Wagner, per REDC)
  • March 31: Rossini’s The Barber of Seville
  • April 1: John Adams’s Nixon in China
  • April 4: Verdi’s Macbeth

Check the full schedule and available supplementary material at the Met’s site.

Streams can be watched on their website or via the Met app for Apple, Amazon, and Roku devices and Samsung Smart TVs. Each performance will be available for 23 hours, from 7:30 p.m. EDT until 6:30 p.m. the following day. Full details on accessing the broadcasts can be found on the website.

Thanks are due again to JeanMarie Zubia!