Disclaimer: If you have no interested in Sherlock or indeed John and Sherlock being in a relationship, this is not the book for you. Come back tomorrow for another post, it was lovely of you to pop by.
Now onto the actual review!
A Murmuring of Bees is a short story collection collected and edited by fandom favourite Atlin Merrick and published by Improbable Press. All the proceeds from this collection go towards the It Gets Better Project, which instantly makes it a hit with me because not only do I receive an awesome book but it also helps an amazing charity whose work is especially important in this holiday period.
Each of the short stories centres around the relationship between John and Sherlock with the prompt of Bees. As Atlin stats in the introduction, the fandom certainly loves the idea of Sherlock loving bees and apiology and the stories in this collection make full use of the many ways this prompt can be interpreted. The stories range temporally, some sticking to the modern age, some travelling back to the Holmes and Watson of Arthur Conan Doyle, and some venturing somewhere in between. I am not a usual reader of short story collections, the few that I have read being literary ventures for university, so this was not only a new way to consider fan-content but also a new style for me. I’m glads to report that I loved it, with nearly every story being the perfect length. As each story is written by a different author, there’s a variety of styles on offer which suited this collection as everyone took there stories in different directions, but may annoy some people looking for a more consistent style. I personally loved it and have found some authors whose other work I want to go and investigate. Also the way that some authors used different styles in their writing was interesting. The poem ‘Love Song to a Bee’ was the one distinctly different in between the prose but one of my favourites had to be ‘The Love of Apiology’ which merged together diary entries, letters, and telegrams into a really lovely story.
Obviously with any collection, there are going to be some stories you prefer more than others and I did find myself at times not being as invested in some of the stories. However because of the short length, I never felt like skipping ahead to another story as I could simply think ‘oh it’s only another page’ and I did read the entire collection. Surprisingly I found myself enjoying the one’s that went back to Holmes and Watson, even though generally I tend to avoid that genre of fanfiction as it never seems to grip me as much as more modern day adaptations. A quick warning would be that a lot of the stories do contain mature or explicit content which is something to be aware of if you want to avoid that.
Although there are various ways of displaying fandom love, such as buying artwork, prints, badges and all the wonderful creations by artists in the community, it is exciting to be showing support for the writers who do equally as much work by having a physical book of fan work. I look forward to perhaps in the future purchasing more fan-based books and reading more short story collections.