I suppose it was inevitable.
It began with one isolated incident and from there quickly exploded, faster than anyone could have imagined.
Before long, they were everywhere. News media outlets ran stories covering the spread, but by then it was too late to stop it…
No, what you just read isn’t an excerpt from some cheesy, new piece of zombie fiction I’m working on.
Rather, it describes the seemingly endless stream of entries in the genre of literary-horror mashup, which began innocently enough in 2009 with Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride And Prejudice And Zombies which successfully merged Jane Austin’s classic with the modern, zombie horror novel.
The Patient Zero of literary-horror mashups, if you will.
I’ve read Pride And Prejudice And Zombies, or PPZ, as some have taken to calling it. I enjoyed it and heartily recommend it.
(I’ve never read Pride And Prejudice. I imagine it’s very much like PPZ. Only less exciting.)
Turns out, PPZ is actually the first released in a trilogy – chronologically, the second in the series after Dawn Of The Dreadfuls, a prequel – that takes place in an alternative universe, one in which our heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, must navigate the ins and outs of proper society in zombie-infested, Regency-era England.
The third novel in the series, Pride And Prejudice And Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After, picks up where the first left off.
The official synopsis below gives hope that the third entry will be the last:
The story opens with our newly married protagonists, Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy, defending their village from an army of flesh-eating “unmentionables.” But the honeymoon has barely begun when poor Mr. Darcy is nipped by a rampaging dreadful. Elizabeth knows the proper course of action is to promptly behead her husband (and then burn the corpse, just to be safe). But when she learns of a miracle antidote under development in London, she realizes there may be one last chance to save her true love—and for everyone to live happily ever after.
Here’s where we stand today in the genre of literary-horror mashup:
Pride And Prejudice And Zombies
Sense And Sensibility And Sea Monsters (can you say, money grab?)
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (read it and was disappointed)
Mr. Darcy, Vampyre (taking place after the events of Jane Austin’s novel)
Vampire Darcy’s Desire: A Pride And Prejudice Adaptation
Pride And Prejudice And Zombies: Dawn Of The Dreadfuls
Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter
Mansfield Park And Mummies: Monster Mayhem, Matrimony, Ancient Curses, True Love, and Other Dire Delights
Little Vampire Women
Little Women And Werewolves
And now, Pride And Prejudice And Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After, which comes out next March.
There are probably others out there I’ve missed.
Seems to me, the proverbial dead horse is now back on its feet, and the beating’s far from over.