Conan Doyle Con review

by Simran Bhogal

Holmes is where the heart is!
On 30th May 2015, The City Tavern in Birmingham opened its doors to the very first Conan Doyle convention, hosted by KnightWatch Press. Seeking to share their passion with fellow Conan Doyle enthusiasts, fans of all ages were invited to attend and immerse themselves in the shenanigans synonymous with Professor Challenger, Conan Doyle’s eponymous scientific hero, along with discussions on Holmes and Mycroft.
Kick-starting the event with a discussion led by special guest Tom Ue from the University College of London, fans got the chance to soak up information on one of Conan Doyle’s lesser known scientific heroes, the mighty Professor Challenger! Of course, no discussion is complete without a panel and fans were treated to an hour-long debate held by Tom Ue, Michael R. Brush, Steve Lockley and Jan Edwards on the key differences between detectives and scientists.
As well as the launch of the innovative Challenger short story collection that was carefully compiled and edited by the team at KnightWatch, Theresa Derwin hosted a panel on steampunk versus historical fiction. Delving into how the fantastical and wonderful Victorian era inspired a new generation of literature, Derwin, along with Rhys Hughes and S. G. Mulholland, explored how steampunk established itself as a brand new genre of literature. Bringing the day’s antics to an end was a 90 minute play presented by Don’t Go into The Cellar titled ‘The Singular Exploits of Sherlock Holmes’.
Exclusive to Conan Doyle con was Michael R. Brush’s book launch; Mycroft and the Necromancer, a book focussing on the character of Holmes…yes that’s Mycroft Holmes, in a unique and original story on the infamous detective’s brother.
Following the success of this year’s event, KnightWatch Press are ready to take the Conan Doyle con back ‘holmes’, and are hoping to host next year’s event at a glorious pub venue with real ale so make sure you stay tuned for more updates!