After searching for question and tags related to Sherlock Holmes, I was a little surprised to find that none really exist. I suppose this is because Sherlock Holmes is not exactly science fiction or fantasy. But then, where could I go (on Stack Exchange) to ask about the Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories?

The Movies and TV SE has a Sherlock tag, but it hardly seems appropriate to ask about the written works there.

There was apparently a Literature SE, but it failed a long time ago.

It seems quite likely that many people on this SE would be interested in Sherlock Holmes questions in the same way they enjoy Doctor Who or Harry Potter questions.

Allowing Sherlock Holmes and other mysteries might be a slippery slope towards allowing all fiction, but it seems like you're missing a huge fan base.


4 Answers 4


Not here ...

As other answers have already pointed out, pretty much none of the Sherlock Holmes have any science fiction or fantasy elements whatsoever, making them firmly off-topic for this site.

... but on Literature!

On the newly created (around two months old) Literature SE, Sherlock Holmes is definitely on-topic. It's even one of that site's top bunch of tags, with fifteen questions already. If you have questions about Sherlock Holmes, please take them over there!


No, unless you're asking about one of the various 'Sherlock Holmes in a sci-fi/fantasy setting' stories that have been written over the past century. Whether a topic might overlap with geek interests doesn't determine on-topicness. The genre of the work determines on-topicness.

To create a Stack Exchange where this would be on topic, you should contribute to the Books proposal on Area 51.SE.

  • Example: 'The Holmes-Dracula File' by Saberhagen -- I believe that would be considered On-Topic. (Sherlock Holmes meets Dracula.)
    – K-H-W
    Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 15:27

No, you can't.

Whilst there are certainly fantastical elements in some of the minor Doyle Holmes stories (The Adventure of the Creeping Man, for example features a man who turns into a monkey and there are mentions of a mythical "Giant rat of Sumatra" in 'The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire' (which turns out to have nothing to do with vampires whatsoever) there are no science fictional references in any of the novels that are considered to form the basis for the main Sherlock Holmes canon.

There are, obviously many books, films and TV shows that are based on Sherlock Holmes but set in space (TV Tropes Warning). You're perfectly free to ask about those.


The Sherlock Holmes stories are on topic because they are SF throughout. The methods Sherlock uses to solve his cases, which he tries to pass off as deductions, are patently nothing but guesswork. The fact that Sherlock guesses right far more often that the laws of chance would allow proves that he has what you'd call ESP or psi powers. How are the adventures of a psi-mutant superhero not SF?

  • 16
    Sherlock Holmes uses pure logic and analytical thinking to solve his cases. The fact that, as a reader, I can see his methods are flawed and are motivated by plot does not imply in any way that they are supernatural in-universe. Commented Sep 6, 2014 at 21:04
  • 1
    I'm sorry but a flawed plot device in an otherwise real-world scenario does not make something sci-fi.
    – user8719
    Commented Sep 7, 2014 at 1:28
  • 1
    @AvnerShahar-Kashtan Your interpretation of the Sherlock Holmes stories, then, is that Sherlock has no paranormal abilities, and his apparent superpowers are to be explained away as bad writing? That is an interesting interpretation, but not the only possible one.
    – user14111
    Commented Sep 7, 2014 at 4:44
  • 11
    I believe this is the only commonly accepted interpretation, and it seems that popular opinion on this meta site agrees. In fact, since extra-sensory perception is hardly the default explanation for anything in what are essentially realistic detective novels, I'd be glad to see any good text-based evidence for them in the Holmes corpus. Commented Sep 7, 2014 at 4:55
  • 1
    If plot holes, bad writing or simply suspension of disbelief and miscelaneous writing tropes were enough to qualify something as SF/F, we'd have every work of fiction in this site. And a lot of non-fiction too.
    – Andres F.
    Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 2:30

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