The site began in November 2001, as a project I'd wanted to do for some time, but never found motivation for, until the internet gave me the feeling that there might be some point to it after all.

The first indexing of pastiches was done by scan-reading for the sake of getting as much information onto the site as quickly as possible. Inevitably errors have crept in. I have now begun a more careful re-reading to improve the accuracy of the indexing.

At first I only listed characters who were actually named in the stories. As I went on it quickly became obvious that some important characters were alluded to without being named, so I started including these, but still ignored adjectival renderings of names ("e.g. "Freudian" or "Shakespearean") and names used as exclamations or curses ("Oh, Jesus!" etc.). In the new run-through, for the sake of completeness, I am trying to identify all allusions, and also listing words, names etc. derived from the character's name (e.g. "Machiavellian", "St. Paul's Cathedral", etc.)

Where a character is named after an historic or literary figure, I only list the initial mention of the fact. So, for example, although Irene Adler's parrot is named after Casanova in the Carole Nelson Douglas series, it is only indexed the first time it is mentioned. If a character is named deliberately to evoke an historic or literary character, usually for comic effect, (M.J. Trow, for example, gives many of his minor characters the names of contemporary public figures) the character is indexed, but counted as being "mentioned" rather than "appearing" in the story.


Why don't some entries have page numbers?

The following books and stories have no page numbering in my editions (so naturally no numbers are given in the index):

"Humpty Dumpty: Did He Fall? Or Was He Pushed?" (Victor G. Ambrus)
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Alan Moore & Kevin O'Neill)
Scarlet In Gaslight (Martin Powell & Seppo Makinen)
Stanley Bagshaw and the Frantic Film Fiasco (Bob Wilson)

Also, in the early days of the site, when I wasn't sure about file sizes and download times and all that technical stuff, if a character appeared throughout the story (my baseline was more than five separate appearances) I would not give page numbers. This is being attended to as I make my second journey through them.

What's the point of page numbers if different editions have different numbering?

If you have a differently numbered edition the numbering I have given will give you some idea of where, in your copy, to look. Often, different editions maintain the same pagination. Details of the page numbering of short stories can be found at the short stories page for cross-referencing if your copy of the story appears in a different volume.

Your indexes to the reference works seem overly comprehensive...

Yes, maybe. These were compiled for my own use and to my own taste. I tend to forget names, but remember that the reference was on the same page as the story about Christopher Morley's mother (or whatever), so I have indexed absolutely every noun, name, and date in each book that seemed important to me. You can always edit the index to suit yourself if you think it's too many pages to print out.

Can you help me find a copy of these books?

Probably not, but you're on-line now, so try Amazon or any of the on-line used-book dealers sites (do a Google search to find them).

Why isn't my story listed?

I only index stories that have been published in hard-copy form (books, magazines, pamphlets), and which I own or have access to. I have imposed this ruling so that I can check any errors that may occur and provide a more reliable system. It is difficult enough checking my own mistakes without having to worry about other people's. If you would like to send me your story for inclusion contact me on the link at the bottom of the page for instructions on how to do so. I do not forsee the site indexing pastiches available only on websites in the immediate future. I've also stopped buying print-on-demand books as the amount of dross far outweighs the one or two (possibly an overly generous estimate that) readable ones. If you want yours listed, you're going to have to send it to me.

What do I do if I spot an error?

Contact me on the link at the bottom of the page.