Apropos of our recent post on the zombified rewrite of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, a selection for this year’s prestigious Hugo Awards (science fiction) endeavors to write Frankenstein into Austen’s novel–or vice versa. Up for the best novelette category, John Kessel’s “Pride and Prometheus” chronicles a meeting between Pride‘s bookish Mary Bennet and Frankenstein‘s namesake. One short fan review/reading finds it a worthy selection for its deft metafictional play but has qualms about it’s voice: “[Kessel's] pastiche rings hollow, emulating Austen’s grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure but lacking the spark that imbued her writing with so much humor.” Luckily, those who are interested can decide for themselves by downloading the pdf from the author’s Web site.
The award winners will be announced in August at the 2009 World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) in Montreal, Quebec.
It seems Jane Austen-ites are abuzz with a new book, titled Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance – Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem!, that turns Elizabeth Bennet, Fitzwilliam Darcy, et al into zombie killers. According to an article in today’s Times, the novel retains about 85 percent of Austen’s words, twisting them to fit the zany context. Hence Austen’s famous first line reads, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”
According to the publisher’s description, the novel is a “delightful comedy of manners” accentuated with plenty of “bone-crunching zombie action”:
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies features the original text of Jane Austen’s beloved novel with all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie action. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Complete with 20 illustrations in the style of C. E. Brock (the original illustrator of Pride and Prejudice), this insanely funny expanded edition will introduce Jane Austen’s classic novel to new legions of fans.
The novel is slated to come out in April.
The book also got some play on the NPR quiz show Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me this week during the “Bluff the Listener” segment, in which a listener was tasked to choose which of three stories about classic works of literature being “improved” was true. Listen here.
This story is already all over the blogosphere, so here are just a couple examples of what others are saying about this spoof:
A Bloggering Hole