I hadn’t planned on blogging about Kim Newman and his Diogenes Club stories again or at least not for a while. And then I read Cold Snap.
Now, I’m not going to go into the plot, beyond the fact that I did enjoy the story and I was happy to see Richard Jeperson again. But the novella has loads and loads of characters, many of which have basically just cameos for all intents and purposes. Honestly, you could have stripped most of them out and the story would have both been the same and strong.
A lot of the characters I recognized from other Diogenes stories. Then, I found myself thinking ‘Isn’t that the vampire lady from those Warhammer Fantasy books?’ Yes, it was and Newman wrote those stories. And doesn’t this concept seem a lot like something I read in a Doctor Who book during the hiatus? Newman wrote that too?!
As I started digging, it rapidly became clear that Cold Snap was a massive cross-continuity crossover of Kim Newman’s writing with many of the characters alternate versions so they could be crammed into the Diogenes Club setting. Kim Newman totally beat fanfic writers to the punch.
This led to some interesting further revelations. One, a lot of books and stories referenced in Cold Snap are out of print. And some of them were written in different genres so the versions of the characters that twigged my interest wouldn’t be what I’d find in their original works. Actually finding the books might not be that rewarding.
Really, in one story, Kim Newman out Michael Moorecocked Michael Moorecock and really did write his own fan fiction.
Sadly, uncovering the meta elements of Cold Snap has probably decreased my enjoyment of the work.