Monday, July 7, 2014

Ellie Garratt on Spec Fic Mash-ups

Hey all! I was supposed to do this update on Friday, but see, I was writing. So I just want to let you know that yes, I have managed to work through my issues. At least enough so that I'm still on course to complete my Camp NaNo goal.

Also, I hope all my American friends had a wonderful 4th of July. 

Anyway, today I'm welcoming spec fic writer extraordinaire and Untethered Realms co-writer, Ellie Garratt. She's here to share her love of mash-ups with us.

Thank you for having me here today, Misha. I'm **waving** hello to you and all your followers.

Time for a confession. I have a weakness for literary mash-ups, where normally polar opposite genres are mixed together. There's something refreshing about taking an old classic such as Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and adding zombies into the mix. I'm not sure how Austen would have felt about her novel being re-written in such a way, but I loved Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.


There are more mash-ups - Android Karenina, Sense and Sensibility, and Jane Slayre are just a few examples. Then there are mash-ups involving characters from books, such as Mr. Darcy,Vampyre.

Another style of literary mash up is taking a famous historical figure and giving them an alternative speculative fiction story. One of the most well known examples of this is Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. A genius idea of re-writing the history of the iconic President Lincoln to include vampires. Or how about Henry VIII: Wolfman or Queen Victoria Demon Hunter? I wonder if their Majesties would have been amused?


Then there are mash-ups which involve an iconic film or television series such as Star Trek. Night of the Living Trekkies is a favourite of mine. It doesn't pretend to be anything more than it is - a gory and funny mixing of the Trek Universe and zombies. It's also a great read, though I should warn you quite a few Star Wars fans meet with a grisly fate.


There are many more I haven't read, such as The Undead World of Oz or Wuthering Bites. The number of literary mash-ups has grown significantly since the publication of the first, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. There are many to choose from, should they appeal to you.

Have you read any mash-ups? How do you feel about them, especially those re-working a classic book or character? Have you ever considered writing one yourself? I'd love to know your thoughts.



Author Bio

A life-long addiction to reading science fiction and horror meant writing was the logical outlet for Ellie Garratt’s passions. She is a reader, writer, blogger, Trekkie, and would happily die to be an extra in The Walking Dead. Her short stories have been published in anthologies and online. Her first short story collection, Passing Time: Nine Short Tales of the Strange and Macabre, was published in March 2013 and contains nine previously published stories. Her second, Taking Time and Other Science Fiction Stories, followed shortly after.

 You can find Ellie here: WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodreads.

Thanks for visiting, Ellie! Anyone else want to do a guest post? Please see here for more details. 

Who else adores reading and/or writing mash-ups? 

42 comments:

Terry W. Ervin II said...

I've not read any mashups but my wife has enjoyed reading a few.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, because I love P&P. I enjoyed it - perhaps more so because I knew the original story and surprisingly found the zombie storyline made so much sense!! I wonder if people would enjoy these mash-ups if they didn't know the original story?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

They add humor, so I'm all for it!

Jennifer Chandler said...

I haven't read any yet but they sound hilarious! I love the idea of taking something classic (or someone from history) and adding a good dash of humor and a fun, sci-fi twist!

Ellie Garratt said...

You should give one a go, Terry. They're a fun read.

Ellie Garratt said...

I had the same thought, Annalisa. I think having read the original first enriches the experience.

Ellie Garratt said...

They surely do.

Ellie Garratt said...

You should definitely try reading one or two. You'll be hooked!

Ellie Garratt said...

Thank you again for having me here today, Misha. Yay on the Camp NaNo goal!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Night of the Living Trekkies looks funny.

Ellie Garratt said...

It's hilarious! Well worth a read.

Christine Rains said...

I laughed at seeing Night of the Living Trekkies! I've read a few of those books, but I wish the Abraham Lincoln movie was better. It didn't even make my favorite bad movies list!

Kelly Hashway said...

I actually haven't read any but I think the concept is kind of fun.

cleemckenzie said...

I haven't read any mash ups. I can see the appeal because it the author would already have an audience for each kind of book. It's the covers that give me the shivers!

Robin said...

I find mash ups of all stripes amusing. People are so darn creative.

Angela Brown said...

I think the concept of mash ups is rather clever. It's a great way to add a new spin on an old fave.

Meradeth Houston said...

A good mash-up can be so fun! I have to admit I really enjoyed the Lincoln Vampire one :) There are so many more I should check out--thanks for the suggestions!

klahanie said...

Hey Misha and Ellie,

Oh yeah, the more mashed up, the better. A great way to get the surreal inspirations happening. Dr. Seuss and Willie Shakespeare's collaboration mash-up, "Green Eggs and Hamlet."

Gary :)

Suzanne Furness said...

Hi Misha and Ellie,

Interested to read this post as I don't think I have ever read any of these mash-ups. They sound fun though so think I might have to give one a try!

Connie Keller said...

Honestly, I've never read a mash-up. Maybe I need to add some to my TRB list.

Julie Flanders said...

Love all of these but I think Queen Victoria is my favorite LOL.

Beth said...

I've seen the mash-ups before but I've never actually picked one up.

Mark Murata said...

I think you meant Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. I didn't finish it, but women responded favorably to the cover when I had it at a writers' conference.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I don't think I've read any mash-ups, but I like the titles; they're fun. I think mash-ups are okay, as long as the new author doesn't try to sound exactly like the other author. It's better when the author retells the story using his or her own voice.

Ellie Garratt said...

I agree. The book was much better than the movie.

Ellie Garratt said...

They're fun, Kelly.

Ellie Garratt said...

The covers are certainly different. I remember taking part in a blogfest in which you had to create an alternate cover for a well-known book. I chose What Katy Did Next and turned her into a knife wielding maniac!

Ellie Garratt said...

They really are. I'd love to have a go at writing one myself.

Ellie Garratt said...

They are a genius idea.

Ellie Garratt said...

Glad you enjoy reading them, Meradeth. There are plenty to choose from :)

Ellie Garratt said...

Green Eggs and Hamlet. Too funny.

Ellie Garratt said...
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Ellie Garratt said...

Start with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies if you're an Austen fan. It's my favourite.

Ellie Garratt said...
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Ellie Garratt said...

It's worth it, Connie. Go on, add one!

Ellie Garratt said...

It's a close second to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies for me.

Ellie Garratt said...

You should, Beth. They're both clever and funny.

Ellie Garratt said...

I did, Mark. How did I miss that?!

Ellie Garratt said...

I think it's a fine line between adding their own voice and keeping in the original authors style. Personally, I liked the fact that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies still read like a Jane Austen book.

Susanne Drazic said...

I haven't read any of those titles but I just might have to check them out, once my stacks of books get a little smaller.

Hart Johnson said...

I confess to being intrigued by these titles, but I have yet to read them. I like the historical figures as beasties or hunters ones, in particular. Just like my favorite Doctor Whos (other than Blink) are the Queen Victoria and the Shakespeare ones. It is sort of delicious to play with history this way.

Nicole said...

Haven't read these mash-ups, but it's certainly a creative way to twist things!