15 July 2009

Campy Pride and Prejudice and Zombies spawns another mash-up

In typical media fashion, as soon as a new idea hits big, sequels are always down the line.

This past spring, Quirk Books - known for The Worst-Case Scenario Survival books, which has spawned sequels, as well as a TBS television series and a board game - hit big with the campy mash-up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith. Now, to further the genre they created, next month sees the release of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. In this update, the Dashwood sisters are evicted from their childhood home by their conniving stepmother, only to land on a mysterious island full of man-eating sea creatures, instead of a nearby, downgraded, English cottage.

This new take however, will differ from P&P&Z, where Grahame-Smith used about 80% of Austen's text. S&S&SM has a 60-40 ratio of Austen material to new material. According to Quirk Books editor Jason Rekulak, using sea monsters allowed him and author Ben H. Winters to draw from a wide range of pop-culture sources, including Jules Verne, the TV series Lost and even Spongebob Squarepants.

Meanwhile, Seth Grahame-Smith has signed a deal with Grand Central to release Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter next year. See what happens when a little publishing house takes a risk and releases something that no one would expect?

Still, Quirk seems to be aware of the limited shelf life too many of these smash-ups on the market, but is willing to see how the market fairs when Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters is released. He told Publishers Weekly that "it may be that the appeal had solely to do with the zombies but, if people are intrigued with the idea of desecrating or mashing up classics, then there’s a lot we can do.”

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