Classics Meet SF: The Next Literary Trend?

Illustration for article titled Classics Meet SF: The Next Literary Trend?

Unafraid to run an idea into the ground, we've come up with a twist on the Pride And Prejudice And Zombies formula to give it new life: Merge works of classic literature with classic sci-fi movies. How could it fail?


We'll admit it; we're as unconvinced that the world needs any more literally mash-ups after Sense And Sensibility and Seamonsters, but that doesn't mean that we're not willing to jump onboard even a quickly deccelerating bandwagon if it could bring us some spending money before the holiday gift-buying season. Therefore, dear publishers, we'd like to suggest the following additions to your catalog:

Great Expectations Of The Third Kind
Orphan Pip still encounters Magwitch and Miss Haversham and all the familiar characters from Charles Dickens' classic novel, but he also finds himself compelled to build mountains out of mashed potatoes and travel to America so that he can meet some aliens who like to play music - A subplot that underscores the original theme of Pip's world changing as he moves up the social classes.


The Mayor Of Casterbridge From Another World
Thomas Hardy's depressing late-nineteenth century novel about the hardship of man especially when he is an emotionally-closeted alcoholic who has sold his family would gain all manner of poignancy if you included the brand new element of him also being an alien, don't you think? It may also make the enforced reading of this for high school students slightly less like elongated torture, but that may just be a personal thing.

War And Peace Of The Worlds
It's often been said that the only problem with Tolstoy's lengthy opus is that Napoleon's assault on Russia doesn't end suddenly when his entire army dies because of a common cold, and I'd like to think that this suggested addition would remedy just that very problem, as well as adding the kind of literary flare that only a death ray or two can bring. Plus: We're sure we can bring it in under 1000 pages. Like, well under.

The Remains Of The Day The World Stood Still
Admittedly, this one is recent and so copyright may be a problem, but think about it: Stevens devotes his life to Lord Darlington, but it's all a cover for his real identity as Klaatu, potential harbinger of doom to the entire planet. Can reconnecting with a former love give him the emotional intelligence he needs to make everything alright in the end? And by "everything alright," I mean "the world still exists."

Mansfield Park Of The Apes
The easiest rewrite of them all: Keep Jane Austen's novel pretty much exactly as it is, but make everyone an ape and add a prologue that explains that it all takes place after a great disaster that has made ape the dominant force on the planet. Just go through the body of the text and add "hairy" as an adjective a few times and you'll be done.


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Discodave: R.O.A.C.H. M.O.T.E.L.

Wasn't Pierre Boule's original novel pretty much exactly as you've described Mansfield Park of the Apes? The apes wore modern dress and swung off lamp posts, after all (and no, it's not as good as the film).

Having said that: A Tale of Two Cities: Mos Eisley and Anchorhead anyone?