On June 19, the world as we know it changed forever. On that day we all woke up in a world where the film Ambraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter is a thing that exists. What bizarre alchemy created the world of mashups, a world in which we can watch Honest Abe decapitate a vampire in digital 3D? Perhaps mashup literature is the natural evolution of maker culture, with its DIY spirit and zest for hacking, jailbreaking, and repurposing technological accessories. Why shouldn’t this impulse extend into the world of literature? I bless whatever combination of circumstances made mashup literature possible, and in honor of its spirit and zany glee, I propose:
A List of Actual Mashups for Your Enjoyment
- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith (with a graphic novel adaptation, prequel: Dawn of the Dreadfuls, and sequel: Dreadfully Ever After)
- Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Ben H. Winters
- Android Karenina by Ben H. Winters
- Little Vamprie Women by Lynn Messina and Little Women and Werewolves by Porter Grand
- Alice in Zombieland by Nickolas Cook
Plus Three Mashups the World Must See
- T. S. Eliot and Time Travellers
A group of disaffected aesthetes bounce back and forth between a hollow present and an even bleaker future, exploring the essential emptiness of human life. For some reason, there are also dancing cats.
Wait, that’s kind of like Time Riders by Alex Scarrow.
Three teens are pulled from their lives at the moment just before their deaths and recruited to protect the flow of time from malign interference. The downside: none of them can form real relationships or have normal lives (as they’re supposed to be dead), they’ll probably all die horribly, and when they aren’t time travelling they’re stuck under a bridge in New York City, reliving September 11th, 2001 over and over again.
- Greeks and Geeks
Instead of deciding their quarrels by throwing Greek and Trojan armies at each other, the Greek Gods decide to meddle in the tumultuous world of an American high school. How will clique rivalry change when the jocks are empowered by Ares and the nerds by Athena? Can peace be made by prom?
Wait, that’s kind of like Troy High by Shana Norris.
The Illiad is reset as a feud between high schools. When star cheerleader Elena transfers from Lacede High to rival Troy High and dumps her old boyfriend, a football rivalry explodes into violent pranks.
- Sonnets and Superheroes
Just because your characters are superheroes doesn’t mean you have to focus on action! In this inspired take on the Bard’s collection of sonnets, your favorite caped crusaders try to come to terms with their sexuality and mortality — while speaking only in rhyming couplets.
Wait, that’s kind of like Hero by Perry Moore (2012 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults).
Thom Creed keeps a lot of secrets — that he’s a superhero, that he’s joined a team called the League, and that he’s gay. In the League, Thom can meet others like him and form friendships, but all is not well — superheroes are dying mysteriously. Thom and his ragtag friends may be the only people who can figure out what’s happening.
What mashups do you recommend, readers? And which hypothetical mashups would you love to become real? Winnie the Pooh and Warlocks? Huckleberry Clone? Let us know!
— Maria Kramer, currently reading Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews