Moby Dick Meets Ringworld, And Other Great Literary Mashups

Illustration for article titled Moby Dick Meets Ringworld, And Other Great Literary Mashups

What would Herman Melville have made of Larry Niven’s huge space mega-engineering project? You don’t have to wonder any longer.

The venerable zine File770 has a collection of literary mashups, including Simon Bisson’s Melville’s Ring World:

Call me Louis Wu. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having far too much money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on Earth, I thought I would explore about a little and see the livable parts of Known Space. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before the organ banks, and snarling up at the face of every Kzinti I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off—then, I account it high time to get to space as soon as I can. This is my substitute for wirehead and tasp. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the stars. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the skies with me.


There are tons more at the link, including Lord of the Rings mashed up with Middlemarch, Pride & Prejudice and Dr. Seuss. And Hunter S. Thompson meets Consider Phlebas! And much, more at the link.

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I’d like to see a Philip K. Dick version of Moby Dick. I could see Ahab as a drunk and stoner in the corner bowels of the ship.