Thursday, June 2, 2016

Crossover Cover: Milord Sir Smiht, the English Wizard

Dr. Eszterhazy is a special agent of the government of Scythia-Pannonia-Transbalkania who undertakes various missions for the government involving mysteries and supernatural encounters. Oberzeeleutnant-commander Adler has written a monograph on the deep-sea fishes. Scythia-Pannonia-Transbalkania’s neighboring countries include Ruritania and Graustark. A young student in Prague who thought he had turned into a giant cockroach is mentioned. In Doyle and Watson’s “A Scandal in Bohemia,” Irene Adler’s biography is sandwiched between that of a Hebrew rabbi and that of a staff-commander who had written a monograph upon the deep-sea fishes in Sherlock Holmes’ index. Ruritania is from Anthony Hope’s The Prisoner of Zenda and Rupert of Hentzau, while Graustark is from the series by George Barr McCutcheon. The young student in Prague who thought he had turned into a giant cockroach is Gregor Samsa from Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis.” However, Gregor was a traveling salesman rather than a student, and he actually did turn into a cockroach. According to Davidson, Gregor’s case was investigated by the local government of Prague. The government must have distorted the true details of the case in order to avoid the public learning the grisly details of Gregor’s transformation, making Kafka’s account the more accurate one. This crossover brings Doctor Esztherhazy and Gregor Samsa into the CU.


  1. I need to read my copy of this. The Irene Adler reference seems very microscopic. I imagine I would have missed it.

    I wonder if there was an explanation as to why Samsa turned into a cockroach? In the original story, it just happened.

  2. That was a very clever way of referencing the Sherlock Holmes stories. I wonder if anyone has ever made use of Rabbi Adler?

  3. No one's used Rabbi Adler to my knowledge.

    Was Irene Adler Jewish? Adler is a common last name of German jews, but apparently it isn't exclusive to jews. I looked through "Scandal in Bohemia" but could find any reference.