If the entertainment industry knows how to do one thing, it’s how to beat the proverbial dead horse. (Please see: Spider-Man.)
Publisher Quirk Books found a sprinkle of success with sci-fi infused Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies in April, 2009. It was an enticing idea, we admit. But it spurred – what else? – a literal literary monster. (And a film that will star Natalie Portman.)
Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters sailed out in September, and publishers, thirsty for more, have promised us forth-coming fictional gems like Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter and PP&Z prequel Dawn of the Dreadfuls. The latest in what we hope will not be a long line of literary mad-science: Android Karenina.
From Quirk’s Web site:
“As in the original novel, our story follows two relationships: The tragic adulterous love affair of Anna Karenina and Count Alexei Vronsky, and the more hopeful marriage of Nikolai Levin and Princess Kitty Shcherbatskaya. These characters live in a steampunk-inspired world of robotic butlers, clumsy automatons, and rudimentary mechanical devices. But when these copper-plated machines begin to revolt against their human masters, our characters must fight back using state-of-the-art 19th-century technology—and a sleek new model of ultra-human cyborgs like nothing the world has ever seen.“
(More on Techland: The Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books of the Decade)
Though I can see the argument that these books might prompt readers to move on to the books’ classic counterpart, I think I’d much rather we quit while we’re ahead (or behind, depending on how you look at it). At least before we overdose our shelves with science fiction to the point where we have to start defusing. Harry Potter and the Average Accountants. Great.