Sunday, November 1, 2015

Crossover of the Week

Yesterday, I had the immense pleasure of attending a midnight showing of one of my favorite movies, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. As with the previous showings I attended, the audience participation was great, as was sharing the experience with people who love RHPS as much as I do. In honor of this great experience, here's my write-up of the novel that brings the movie into the CU.

John Taylor escorts an elf across the Nightside, helps deceased P.I. Larry Oblivion look for his brother Tommy, and refuses to take Walker’s place as agent of the Authorities that rule the Nightside. Appearing or mentioned are: Hydes; a cyborg from some future timeline with eyes glowing golden, mainlining a fierce and nasty future drug called Blood; taduki; Martian red weed; Queen Mab; Oberon and Titania; the Street of the Gods; Puck; the Sonic Assassin; the Time Tower; the Deep School; Salvation Kane; Old Mother Shipton; Indiana Jones; Mr. Stab; Miss Eliza Fritton, who used to run a private girl’s school; the Carnacki Insitute; the Droods; the Vril Power Gang; the Nazi Skull; Jacqueline Hyde; the worms of the Earth; a stuffed water baby; giant albino penguins; an old-fashioned grandfather clock, with a cobwebbed human skeleton propped up inside it; a lizard serum; Julien Advent; Rats’ Alley; Dr. Delirium; Wu Fang; and a Hand of Glory made from a monkey’s paw.
Novel by Simon R. Green. The Hydes are individuals who use the formula that turned Dr. Henry Jekyll into Edward Hyde as a narcotic. Jacqueline Hyde is a descendant of Jekyll’s who takes her ancestor’s serum, which turns her into a male Hyde. The cyborg from a future timeline with eyes glowing golden is one of the Hadenmen from Green’s Deathstalker series, which takes place in one of many possible futures for the CU. The Blood drug is also from the Deathstalker books. The drug Taduki is from H. Rider Haggard’s novels and stories about hunter Allan Quatermain. Martian red weed is from H. G. Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds. Queen Mab is from William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, while Oberon, Titania, and Puck are from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The Street of the Gods is from Green’s Hawk and Fisher novellas Winner Takes All and The God Killer. The Sonic Assassin is Michael Moorcock’s secret agent Jerry Cornelius, an incarnation of the Eternal Champion. The Time Tower is from Green’s novel Shadows Fall. Salvation Kane is probably meant to be Robert E. Howard’s heroic puritan Solomon Kane. The Deep School is an extradimensional school for sorcerers seen in Manly Wade Wellman’s John Thunstone stories. Old Mother Shipton, Mr. Stab, and the Droods are from Green’s Secret Histories series. Dr. Delirium goes on to become one of the main villains of the fourth Secret Histories novel, From Hell with Love. The Indiana Jones reference can be interpreted as a reference to either a real person or a fictional character, but since both Indy and John Taylor are firmly established as being in the CU, we can accept this as a legitimate crossover. Miss Eliza Fritton must be the same Miss Fritton who was the headmistress of St. Trinian’s, a private school for girls, in illustrated cartoons by Ronald Searle. The Carnacki Institute is featured in Green’s Ghost Finders series. The Vril Power Gang is a reference to the Vril power from Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s The Coming Race. The Nazi Skull is a reference to Captain America’s Nazi archenemy, the Red Skull. The worms of the Earth are from Robert E. Howard’s Bran Mak Morn story of the same name. The giant albino penguins are from Lovecraft’s novella At the Mountains of Madness. The stuffed water baby is a reference to Charles Kingsley’s children’s book The Water Babies. The old-fashioned grandfather clock with a cobwebbed human skeleton propped up inside it is from the movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show, bringing that film and its sequel, Shock Treatment, into the CU. The lizard serum is probably the one used by the Lizard, a foe of the Marvel Comics superhero Spider-Man. Julien Advent, a recurring character in the Nightside books, is meant to be adventurer Adam Adamant from the British television series Adam Adamant Lives! Rats’ Alley is from T. S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land.” Wu Fang is a pulp villain created by Robert J. Hogan. The Hand of Glory made from a monkey’s paw is a reference to W. W. Jacobs’ story “The Monkey’s Paw.”


  1. I see that I was mistaken about the cyborgs. I thought they were a reference to the Terminator films and I missed the Rocky Horror reference completely

  2. Lankhmar, in Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser stories, also had a Street of the Gods. I don't know if there is any link to it, except Fritz Leiber's sword and sorcery stories were probably an influence on the Nightside books. Sharper than a Serpent's Tooth mention the Bazaar of the Bizarre from the Fritz Leiber story of the same name.

    There was a Rat Alley (no S) in the Goon comics. Though that may just be a coincidence.