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Is Sherlock Holmes a Sci-fi novel?

  1. Apr 21, 2016 #1
    We all know our favorite detective Sherlock Holmes is a fiction character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

    But do we consider the novels "A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of the Four, etc." a sci-fi novel due to the detective's deductions or does it belong to another genre?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 21, 2016 #2
    A sober tale published in a Christmas edition? Had it gotten traction I would equate ASIS with A Christmas Carol.

    I equate them because A Study in Scarlet first appeared in Beeton's Christmas Annual in 1887 and A Christmas Carol revolved around Christmas Eve in 1843 and because they both employee the macabre for holiday entertainment. Ergo, dark and Christmas and time period - makes me think of ASIS as …not adventure but not the drama that is today’s CSI. CSI being classified as a police procedure drama by Wikipedia.

    A Study in Scarlet was the first work of detective fiction to incorporate the magnifying glass as an investigative tool. SH presented the observations as evidence of the solved mystery. SH was performing bloodwork at his first meeting with Watson so maybe Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was going for drama.

    Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is a classic science fiction novel by French writer Jules Verne published in 1870. So science fiction was out there in its true form of, the Nautilus being ahead of its time and the included scientific theories.

    My over thought vote is DRAMA.
  4. Apr 26, 2016 #3
    Sherlock Holmes I have read and enjoyed the series of Conan Doyle. But the series A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of the Four, etc, I have not known, the novel by the same author, perhaps also a detective novel.
  5. Apr 27, 2016 #4
    If we go with Merriam-Webster, science fiction is "stories about how people and societies are affected by imaginary scientific developments in the future".

    The technologies Holmes employed were imaginary, IIRC.

    For the day "Techno-thriller" might work better?
  6. Apr 27, 2016 #5


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    The techniques used by Sherlock Homes were inspired by the rigorous scientific methods of Professor Joseph Bell of the Medical School at Edinburgh University .

    Professor Joseph Bell
  7. May 5, 2016 #6


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    Sherlock Holmes stories earn their place, in my opinion, as some of the best Crime Drama that can be had. I would have a hard time considering Conan Doyle's SH stories to be Sci-Fi because the technologies he employed in the stories were not themselves fictitious technologies, even if they were used in ways that stretched credibility ... I would see this as the same as asking whether or not the Mentalist is Sci-Fi.

    There is, of course, one very distinct example to the contrary - that being in Star Trek TNG, during the episodes when Lt. Commander Data 'played' SH on the holodeck. That would be SH as Sci-Fi ... but it is not the SH written by Conan Doyle, it is simply based on that character.
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