Sunday, October 1, 2023

Crossover of the Week

November 2000


Maxim Gunn battles his old foe Wanda Liszt, who seeks to conquer Africa using Sheba’s necklace, the Great Snake. Sir Richard Trelawney knew Gunn’s maternal grandfather, James Rassendyll. Receiving a note about Wanda’s whereabouts signed only “T.,” Gunn orders more coffee, and thinks, “In what might have been the words of the immortal Holmes, it looked like being a three-pot problem.” A quotation from the rite Wanda intends to perform is given: “That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons, even death may die.” Gunn thinks of a lover of his named Frances, and later about a man he’d known in Los Angeles’ Chinatown named Kwai Chang Caine. Gunn is helped by the Zulu M’hlopekazi, who identifies himself as the great-grandson of Umslopogaas who fought with Macumazahn. 

Novel by Nicholas Boving, originally published as Maxim Gunn and Sheba’s Necklace in 2012; revised as Maxim Gunn: Sheba’s Necklace, Pro Se Productions, 2017. The Great Snake is from John Buchan’s Prester John. Boving’s The Sun Fortress established that Gunn was a descendant of Rudolf Rassendyll from Anthony Hope’s The Prisoner of Zenda and Rupert of Hentzau. The immortal Holmes needs no introduction at this point. “That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die” is a quotation from the Necronomicon appearing in H. P. Lovecraft’s “The Nameless City” and “The Call of Cthulhu.” Frances West is the protagonist of Boving’s Castle Dark, which has a prominent appearance by Gunn. Kwai Chang Caine II is from the television series Kung Fu: The Legend Continues. Umslopogaas is Allan Quatermain’s Zulu companion in H. Rider Haggard’s novels. “Macumazahn” was Quatermain’s nickname among the natives. At one point, Gunn thinks Oksana, High Priestess of the Temple of Am-mut, who uses a green flame to maintain her immortality, may have been the inspiration for Haggard’s character Ayesha. Since we know She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed is a real person in the CU, Gunn is mistaken, but Oksana’s green flame may be connected to Ayesha’s Fire of Life. 

This crossover writeup is one of hundreds included in my book Crossovers Expanded: A Secret Chronology of the World Volume 3, to be published by Meteor House! All three volumes are AUTHORIZED companions to Win Scott Eckert's Crossovers: A Secret Chronology of the World Volumes 1 and 2!

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