A Study in Emerald
by Neil Gaiman
• page count: 9
A Study in Emerald, the 2004 winner of the Hugo Award for Best Short Story, is a unique blending of two literary traditions: Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos.
It is a short story told from the point of view of an assistant to an extraordinarily gifted detective.The detective and the narrator help the Scotland Yard of 1914 track a killer of a most unusual victim.
As usual, Gaiman crafts an excellent tale that is extremely satisfying. If you like Neil Gaiman’s other works (The Sandman, Stardust, American Gods – among others), or you are familiar with H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos then you will probably really like this story. However, even if your not familiar with those you can still enjoy this fine piece from one of today’s most prominent writers.
Isz not to be afraid. Isz to be worthy. Isz to be a companion. That was what she said to me. Her voice was a very sweet contralto, with a distant buzz. Then the limb uncoiled and extended , and she touched my shoulder. There was a moment, but only a moment, of a pain deeper and more profound than anything I have ever experienced, and then it was replaced by a pervasive sense of well-being. I could feel the muscles in my shoulder relax, and, for the first time since Afghanistan, I was free from pain.
Where you can find A Study in Emerald:
• A Study in Emerald originally appeared in the anthology Shadows Over Baker Street: New Tales of Terror!
• It can also be found in Gaiman’s collection of short stories and poetry Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders.
• Gaiman’s own website provides a free pdf version that is fun because it recreates the look and feel of an early 1900’s English newspaper.
If you are interested in learning more about Neil Gaiman be sure to check out the biography on his website.
If you like this story you will probably also like Neil Gaiman’s How To Talk To Girls At Parties.