Short Stories 366:3 — “The Case of the Passionless Bees,” by Rhonda Eikamp

coverOne of the nice things about listening to anthologies on audio is how neatly stories often line up with a walk of the dog, or of a particular set of chores. I listened to this latest from Women Destroy Science Fiction while walking the dog around the block a few times, and the performer did a really solid job with John Watson’s voice.

Yes, that John Watson. Now, I feel like I need to be honest here: I’m not a huge Sherlock fan really, and not widely read on Holmes, but this was a clever notion to play with. The science fiction at play here is in the form of “Gearlock” Holmes being a steampunk-android type being, and Watson being called to his home to help him deal with a murder on the premises—and how, as usual in a Holmes story, nothing is quite what it seems on the surface.

Eikamp’s world-building gives us a few key glimpses into a world where these automata are treated as less-than-human, with the exception of Gearlock due to his usefulness. That single point of reference crafts so much of this story’s world, especially from the point of view of a marginalized reader, and it really played out well. I really enjoyed this, which is likely the first time I’ve ever said that about a story inspired by Sherlock Holmes.

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