WHAT SONG THE SIRENS SANG
A man calling himself Smith offers Gideon Sable and his lover Annie Anybody a stone that he says contains the last echoes of the sirens’ song. The stone is then stolen by Switch It Sally, the wife of crew member Lex Talon, aka the Damned, who was forced to do it by her abductor, a collector known as Coldheart. Gideon says the original Gideon Sable, whose name he assumed after his disappearance, specialized in stealing the kind of things others couldn’t, including jewels from the crown of the man who would be king. In disguise, Gideon and Annie visit Honest John’s Magical Emporium and World of Wonders, where the password of the day is “Swordfish.” Gideon and Annie pilfer Honest John’s Secret Stash, which includes Tom Pierce’s grimoire, which Gideon realizes transported several people to Widdicombe Fair, rather than an old grey mare doing so; the cocoon of a death’s-head were-moth; a pop-up edition of the Necronomicon; and Dracula’s skull, as well as the smaller skull of Dracula when he was a boy, which Gideon is skeptical about. Gideon and Annie have stolen Honest John’s swag for their own shop, Old Harry’s Place, which they inherited from the previous owner and the store’s namesake. Gideon says some of the stacks that used to fill up Old Harry’s went back so far he worried he’d end up in Narnia. Gideon says the rock has a special presence, like the Maltese Falcon or the last of the Anglo-Saxon Crowns. Gideon, Annie, and Lex visit Murray the Mentalist, whose other personae include Madame Osiris. Murray tells them to recruit Polly Perkins, a werewolf whose tracking talents will come in handy. Murray says he will transport the foursome to Seattle, where Coldheart is based, through the Low Road, the path the dead use to take them from this world to the next. Gideon says the Hagges are always watching the Low Road.
Novel by Simon R. Green. The man who would be king is a reference to Rudyard Kipling’s story of the same name and its title character, Daniel Dravot. The use of “Swordfish” as a password is a nod to the Marx Brothers film Horse Feathers. Tom Pierce (or Pearce) is from the Devon folk song “Widecombe Fair.” The death’s-head were-moth is a nod to the film The Blood Beast Terror. The Necronomicon is the most infamous tome in H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. Dracula needs no introduction. Narnia is from C. S. Lewis’ novels. The Maltese Falcon is from Dashiell Hammett’s titular detective novel. Madame Osiris and the Hagges are from Green’s Secret Histories novel Live and Let Drood. Polly Perkins was the alias used by a disguised elf in Green’s Nightside novel The Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny. Presumably, the elf took the name from the real Polly. The Low Road first appeared in Green’s Ghost Finders series.
This crossover writeup is one of hundreds included in my book Crossovers Expanded: A Secret Chronology of the World Volume 3, which will 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!