Supernatural mashups are a thriving subgenre in which a modern-day author grafts supernatural elements — most frequently vampires — onto a classic of American or British literature and then watches the profits roll in. These books really owe a debt to the Internet renaissance of fan fiction, where people write stories in another author's universe, with another author's characters, for the sheer enjoyment of it. Just like fan fic, supernatural mashups provide clever and diverting amusement, illuminations on the themes of the original, if done right, but frustration and hebetude if done poorly…and they're very easy to do poorly. I am sad to report that, in my travels of YA fiction, supernatural romance, sci fi and fantasy, I have so far not come across any truly good specimens of supernatural mashup, though they must be out there….
Mashups I would like to see:
- Emily Dickinson and vampires…"Birds, Hours, the Bumblebee…and bloodsuckers!"
- Charles Dickens and vampires…I think Great Expectations could use some.
- Charlotte Perkins Gilman and steampunk
- George Eliot and vampires…Middlemarch could be a great, sweeping portrait of vampire society and mores.
- William Makepeace Thackeray and vampires…would certainly make Vanity Fair less of a boring slog.