Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a recent release from Quirk Books, is just the latest in a long line of riffs, adaptations and yes, parodies, of Jane Austen’s novels—though it is the first to pit her beloved characters against a supernatural enemy.
Taking its success as proof that the publishing world must be in want of a few more Austen/supernatural mash-ups, there are at least two more in the works. Instead of adding to a classic, though, both authors have chosen to give Jane herself a starring role.
Today’s Publisher’s Lunch listed the sale of “Janet Mullany’s The Immortal Jane Austen, a humorous novel about Jane Austen in Regency England who joins the vampire resistance in Bath when England is invaded by French forces,” to Harper/Avon editor May Chen.
And the Washington Post announced that 2010 will see the publication of Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford (Random House), the first in an intended three-book series that casts Jane as a vampire bookstore owner (can you hear those cash registers ringing?).
In case you thought the diehard Janeites were the ones to be won over in this meeting of the genres, consider this: not all zombie fans have a taste for 19th-century literature. As demonstrated in this comment from the horror novel discussion site Shocklines, “So far I’m not tempted to slog through the other 80% of the book in order to enjoy the zombies.” Boing Boing‘s Cory Doctorow had the same problem. “I found myself skimming, skipping larger and larger chunks of text to get to the zombie sequences, desperate to escape the claustrophobic drawing-room chatter of Austen’s characters with a little beheading, disemboweling and derring-do.”