With Seth Graham-Smith’s literary mash-up Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter finally telling the “true story” behind one of America’s most iconic presidents, we decided to see what other unique stories were out there – and what crazy secrets they revealed about history’s (and literature’s) famed faces.
From dead dwarves, zombies and werewolves to androids, these 30(!) literary mash-ups put a new twist on familiar stories. If you think Abraham Lincoln is dangerous with a hatchet, just wait until you see what Queen Victoria can do with with her royal axe.
So let’s kick things off with another literary mash-up from Graham-Smith…
By: Seth Grahame-Smith
Description: They’re an iconic part of history’s most celebrated birth. But what do we really know about the Three Kings of the Nativity – besides the fact that they followed a star to Bethlehem bearing strange gifts? The Bible has little to say about this enigmatic trio, but leave it to Seth Grahame-Smith – the brilliant and twisted mind behind Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to take a little mystery, bend a little history, and weave an epic tale.
In Grahame-Smith’s telling, the so-called “Three Wise Men” are infamous thieves, led by the dark, murderous Balthazar. After a daring escape from Herod’s prison, they stumble upon the famous manger and its newborn king. The last thing Balthazar needs is to be slowed down by young Joseph, Mary and their infant. But when Herod’s men begin to slaughter the first borns in Judea, he has no choice but to help them escape to Egypt.
It’s the beginning of an adventure that will see them fight the last magical creatures of the Old Testament; cross paths with biblical figures like Pontius Pilate and John the Baptist; and finally deliver the holy family to Egypt. It may just be the greatest story never told.
By: Bob McLain
Description: Snow White has bigger problems than a red apple. The Dwarfs have bigger problems than Snow White. Well, no, actually they don’t, because Snow White is now a flesh-eating ghoul with an appetite for dwarves.
In this modern retelling of the classic fairy tale, a zombie plague from the ‘real world’ somehow enters the beloved realms of childhood fantasy, starting with the kingdom of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Mirror, mirror on the wall
Who is the deadest one of all?
There’s no more living happily ever after. There’s no more living, period.
By: Ben H Winters (and Jane Austen)
Description: “Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters” expands the original text of the beloved Jane Austen novel with all-new scenes of giant lobsters, rampaging octopi, two-headed sea serpents, and other biological monstrosities. As our story opens, the Dashwood sisters are evicted from their childhood home and sent to live on a mysterious island full of savage creatures and dark secrets.
While sensible Elinor falls in love with Edward Ferrars, her romantic sister Marianne is courted by both the handsome Willoughby and the hideous man-monster Colonel Brandon. Can the Dashwood sisters triumph over meddlesome matriarchs and unscrupulous rogues to find true love? Or will they fall prey to the tentacles that are forever snapping at their heels?
This masterful portrait of Regency England blends Jane Austen’s biting social commentary with ultraviolent depictions of sea monsters biting. It’s survival of the fittest—and only the swiftest swimmers will find true love!
By: Claudia Gabel (and William Shakespeare)
Description: The Capulets and the Montagues have some deep and essential differences. Blood differences. Of course, the Capulets can escape their vampire fate, and the Montagues can try not to kill their undead enemies. But at the end of the day, their blood feud is unstoppable. So it’s really quite a problem when Juliet, a vampire-to-be, and Romeo, the human who should be hunting her, fall desperately in love. What they don’t realize is how deadly their love will turn out to be – or what it will mean for their afterlives…
By: Paul A. Freeman
Description: Medieval civilization was under threat from the undead. When lion-hearted Richard ruled the roost of England, he decided that to boost His regal reputation he should mount a war to wrest from Turkish men the fount of Christendom; yet in that desert land a zombie plague emerged from ’midst the sand. A necromancer’s alchemistic spell Reanimated corpses bound for Hell (And even bound for Heaven’s pearly gate).
Soon after ’twas apparent that the fate of all on Earth–the evil and the good– was in the hands of Robin of the Hood whose outlaw men, along with Friar Tuck, against rampaging hordes of zombies struck. They fought to save the likes of you and I, not caring that one slip might make them die. Their tale lies here, within this humble book– I pray you’ll spare the time to take a look.
By: A.E. Moorat
Description: London, 1838. Queen Victoria is crowned; she receives the orb, the scepter, and an arsenal of bloodstained weaponry. If Britain is about to become the greatest power of the age, there’s the small matter of the undead to take care of first. Demons stalk the crown, and political ambitions have unleashed ravening hordes of zombies even within the nobility itself.
But rather than dreams of demon hunting, Queen Victoria’s thoughts are occupied by Prince Albert. Can she dedicate her life to saving her country when her heart belongs elsewhere? With lashings of glistening entrails, decapitations, zombies, and foul demons, this masterly new portrait will give a fresh understanding of a remarkable woman, a legendary monarch, and quite possibly the best demon hunter the world has ever seen.
By: Porter Grand (and Louisa May Alcott)
Description: A literary landmark—the original, suppressed draft of the classic novel!
“Little Women” is a timeless classic. But Louisa May Alcott’s first draft—before her editor sunk his teeth into it—was even better. Now the original text has at last been exhumed. In this uncensored version, the March girls learn some biting lessons, transforming from wild girls into little women—just as their friends and neighbors transform into vicious, bloodthirsty werewolves!
Here are tomboy Jo, quiet Beth, ladylike Amy, and good-hearted Meg, plus lovable neighbor Laurie Laurence, now doomed to prowl the night on all fours, maiming and devouring the locals. As the Civil War rages, the girls learn the value of being kind, the merits of patience and grace, and the benefits of knowing a werewolf who can disembowel your teacher.
By turns heartwarming and blood-curdling, this rejuvenated classic will be cherished and treasured by those who love a lesson in virtue almost as much as they enjoy a good old-fashioned dismemberment.
Includes the original letter from Alcott’s editor, telling her not to even think about it!
By: Sherri Browning Erwin (and Charlotte Bronte)
Description: Jane Slayre, our plucky demon-slaying heroine, a courageous orphan who spurns the detestable vampyre kin who raised her, sets out on the advice of her ghostly uncle to hone her skills as the fearless slayer she’s meant to be. When she takes a job as a governess at a country estate, she falls head-over-heels for her new master, Mr. Rochester, only to discover he’s hiding a violent werewolf in the attic–in the form of his first wife.
Can a menagerie of bloodthirsty, flesh-eating, savage creatures-of-the-night keep a swashbuckling nineteenth-century lady from the gentleman she intends to marry? Vampyres, zombies, and werewolves transform Charlotte Brontë’s unforgettable masterpiece into an eerie paranormal adventure that will delight and terrify.
By: A.E. Moorat
Description: Five hundred years ago Henry VIII had a fearsome temper and bloodthirsty reputation to match; more beast than human, some might say…
Henry the Eighth was the bloodiest king ever to have sat on the throne of England. This fast-paced, exciting, inventive, and just plain bloody retelling of his reign will bring to light the real man behind the myth.
Be dragged back kicking and screaming five hundred years into Tudor England…
By: Adam Roberts
Description: The legendary Ebenezeer Scrooge sits in his house counting money. The boards that he has nailed up over the doors and the windows shudder and shake under the blows from the endless zombie hordes that crowd the streets hungering for his flesh and his miserly braaaaiiiiiinns!
Just how did the happiest day of the year slip into a welter of blood, innards, and shambling, ravenous undead on the snowy streets of old London town? Will the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future be able to stop the world from drowning under a top-hatted and crinolined zombie horde? Was Tiny Tim’s illness something infinitely more sinister than mere rickets and consumption? Can Scrooge be persuaded to go back to his evil ways, travel back to Christmas past, and destroy the brain stem of the tiny, irritatingly cheery Patient Zero?
By: Kevin Postupack
Description: Valley Forge was a dark time for General Washington. Not because it was a harsh frigid winter, nor that it was the lowest point for the rebels in the war against England, but because when the moon was full George Washington roamed the frozen landscape as a werewolf…
By: Nickolas Cook (and Lewis Carroll)
Description: When little Alice follows the Black Rat down into the gaping darkness of an open grave, she falls and falls. And soon finds herself in an undead nightmare of rotting flesh and insanity. Venturing further into this land of zombies and monsters, she encounters characters both creepy and madcap along the way. But there’s something else troubling poor Alice: her skin is rotting and her hair is falling out. She’s cold. And she has the haunting feeling that if she remains in Zombieland any longer, she might never leave.
Can Alice escape Zombieland before the Dead Red Queen catches up to her?
By: Eric S. Brown (and H.G. Wells)
Description: The invasion begins… and the dead start to rise. There’s panic in the streets of London as invaders from Mars wreak havoc on the living, slaying the populace with Heat-Rays and poisonous clouds of black smoke. Humanity struggles to survive against technology far beyond its own, meeting fear and death at every turn. But that’s not the only struggle mankind must face. The dead are rising from their graves with an insatiable hunger for human flesh.
Friends, neighbours and loved ones lost to the war of the worlds are now the enemy and the Earth is forever changed. It’s kill or be killed, if you want to survive, otherwise you might become one of the walking dead yourself.
By: P.D. James
Description: It is 1803, six years since Elizabeth and Darcy embarked on their life together at Pemberley, Darcy’s magnificent estate. Their peaceful, orderly world seems almost unassailable. Elizabeth has found her footing as the chatelaine of the great house. They have two fine sons, Fitzwilliam and Charles. Elizabeth’s sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live nearby; her father visits often; there is optimistic talk about the prospects of marriage for Darcy’s sister Georgiana. And preparations are under way for their much-anticipated annual autumn ball.
Then, on the eve of the ball, the patrician idyll is shattered. A coach careens up the drive carrying Lydia, Elizabeth’s disgraced sister, who with her husband, the very dubious Wickham, has been banned from Pemberley. She stumbles out of the carriage, hysterical, shrieking that Wickham has been murdered. With shocking suddenness, Pemberley is plunged into a frightening mystery.
Inspired by a lifelong passion for Austen, P. D. James masterfully re-creates the world of Pride and Prejudice, electrifying it with the excitement and suspense of a brilliantly crafted crime story, as only she can write it.
By: Seth Grahame-Smith (and Jane Austen)
Description: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.” So begins “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” an expanded version of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem.
This deluxe heirloom edition includes a new preface by coauthor Seth Grahame-Smith, thirteen oil painting illustrations by Roberto Parada, and a fascinating afterword by Dr. Allen Grove of Alfred University. Best of all, this limited special edition features an incredible 30 percent more zombies—via even more all-new scenes of carnage, corpse slaying, and cannibalism. Complete with a satin ribbon marker and a leatherette binding designed to endure for generations, this hardcover volume honors a masterpiece of classic zombie literature.
By: Ryan C. Thomas (and L. Frank Baum)
Description: One day, on a peaceful farm in Kansas, a tornado appeared. The storm raged and ripped the house from the ground. Inside sat a little girl named Dorothy and her dog Toto. The house spun. The winds roared. The tornado showed no mercy, until . . . The house landed in a strange and magical land called Oz. But that’s where the fairytale ends and the nightmare begins. The Wicked Witch of the West has cast a spell on the Land of Oz, a spell that brings the dead back to life. Only the Great Wizard in the Emerald City can stop this curse, but he has never been seen.
It’s up to Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion and the Tin Woodman to journey through this dangerous land of hungry undead and savage monsters and find him in the hopes of bringing life back to Oz. Come join hands with them as they travel down the Yellow Brick Road and see if you can make it to the Emerald City… alive.
By: Michael Thomas Ford
Description: Two hundred years after her death, Jane Austen is still surrounded by the literature she loves—but now it’s because she’s the owner of Flyleaf Books in a sleepy college town in Upstate New York. Every day she watches her novels fly off the shelves—along with dozens of unauthorized sequels, spin-offs, and adaptations. Jane may be undead, but her books have taken on a life of their own.
To make matters worse, the manuscript she finished just before being turned into a vampire has been rejected by publishers—116 times. Jane longs to let the world know who she is, but when a sudden twist of fate thrusts her back into the spotlight, she must hide her real identity—and fend off a dark man from her past while juggling two modern suitors. Will the inimitable Jane Austen be able to keep her cool in this comedy of manners, or will she show everyone what a woman with a sharp wit and an even sharper set of fangs can do?
By: Adam Rann (and Jane Austen)
Description: Beware the howls in the darkness and the light of the full moon. As the ever headstrong Ms. Emma Woodhouse schemes and plots as matchmaker, a dark and deadly terror descends upon Highbury. A series of bestial murders fills the residents with fear as the ever mysterious Mr. Knightley leads a secret life, unknown to all, combating evils not of this Earth. Carnage and destruction reign throughout the land, and though the residents of Highbury try to attend to day-to-day matters as civilly as possible, each cannot help but wonder what lurks in the shadows and if it’ll be coming for them next.
By: Ben H. Winters (and Leo Tolstoy)
Description: As in the original novel, our story follows two relationships: the tragic adulterous romance of Anna Karenina and Count Alexei Vronsky, and the much more hopeful marriage of Konstantin Levin and Kitty Shcherbatskaya. These four, yearning for true love, live in a steampunk-inspired 19th century of mechanical butlers, extraterrestrial-worshiping cults, and airborne debutante balls.
Their passions alone would be enough to consume them-but when a secret cabal of radical scientific revolutionaries launches an attack on Russian high society’s high-tech lifestyle, our heroes must fight back with all their courage, all their gadgets, and all the power of a sleek new cyborg model like nothing the world has ever seen.
By: Vera Nazarian (and Jane Austen)
Description: Ancient Egypt infiltrates Regency England in this elegant, hilarious, witty, insane, and unexpectedly romantic monster parody of Jane Austen’s classic novel. Our gentle yet indomitable heroine Fanny Price must hold steadfast not only against the seductive charms of Henry Crawford but also an Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh! Meanwhile, the indubitably handsome and kind hero Edmund attempts Exorcisms… Miss Crawford vamps out… Aunt Norris channels her inner werewolf… The Mummy-mesmerized Lady Bertram collects Egyptian artifacts…
There can be no doubt that Mansfield Park has become a battleground for the forces of Ancient Evil and Regency True Love!
By: Ralph S King (and Emily Bronte)
Descriptions: Why was Heathcliff’s nature so beastly? Why was he such an utter scoundrel? Why… because he was really a werewolf! The classic romance, now with savage werewolf violence! And there may be a zombie lurking about too!
By: Lynn Messina (and Louisa May Alcott)
Description: The dear, sweet March sisters are back, and Marmee has told them to be good little women. Good little vampire women, that is. That’s right: Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy have grown up since you last read their tale, and now they have (much) longer lives and (much) more ravenous appetites.
Marmee has taught them well, and so they live by an unprecedented moral code of abstinence… from human blood. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy must learn to get along with one another, help make society a better place, and avoid the vampire hunters who pose a constant threat to their existence. Plus, Laurie is dying to become a part of the March family, at any cost. Some things never change.
By: Melissa Lemon
Description: After her father’s disappearance, Cinder leaves home for a servant job at the castle. But it isn t long before her sister Ella is brought to the castle herself. What Ella finds there starts a quest that will change her life and the entire kingdom. With a supernatural twist on this beloved fairytale, it’s a must read you’ll never forget.
By: Cecily von Ziegesar
Description: Just as in the original story, Serena returns from boarding school hoping to make amends with her BFF Blair Waldorf–things just haven’t been the same since Nate Archibald came between them. But here’s where our dark tale takes a turn: Serena decides that the only way for her to make things right with Blair is to eliminate Nate. If that means killing him, well, c’est la vie. Her attempted murder doesn’t go unnoticed by Blair, however, who isn’t about to let Serena kill whoever she wants-not when there’s Cyrus Rose and Chuck Bass and Titi Coates and everyone else who’s ever irritated Blair to get rid of first…
By: Jasper Fforde
Description: In Jasper Fforde’s Great Britain, circa 1985, time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection. But when someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature and plucks Jane Eyre from the pages of Brontë’s novel, Thursday is faced with the challenge of her career. Fforde’s ingenious fantasy—enhanced by a Web site that re-creates the world of the novel—unites intrigue with English literature in a delightfully witty mix.
By: Amanda Grange
Description: “Mr. Darcy, Vampyre” starts where “Pride and Prejudice” ends and introduces a dark family curse so perfectly that the result is a delightfully thrilling, spine-chilling, breathtaking read. A dark, poignant and visionary continuation of Austen’s beloved story, this tale is full of danger, darkness and immortal love.
By: Vera Nazarian (and Jane Austen)
Description: Dragons in the skies of Regency England!
Gothic horrors collide with high satire in this elegant, hilarious, witty, insane, and unexpectedly romantic supernatural parody of Jane Austen’s classic novel.
Young and naive Catherine Morland is constantly surrounded by angels only she alone can see. Leaving her country home for the first time, to embark on a grand adventure that begins in fashionable Bath, our romantic heroine must not only decrypt the mystery of the Udolpho Code but win her true love Henry Tilney.
Meanwhile she is beset by all the Gothic horrors known to Impressionable Young Ladies — odious demons, Regency balls, elusive ghosts, pleasure excursions, temperature-changing nephilim, secret clues, ogre suitors, and a terrifying ancient Dragon who has very likely hidden a secret treasure hoard somewhere in the depths of Northanger Abbey.
By: Regina Jeffers
Description: Happily married for over a year and more in love than ever, Darcy and Elizabeth can’t imagine anythinginterrupting their bliss-filled days. Then an intense snowstorm strands a group of travelers at Pemberley, and terrifying accidents and mysterious deaths begin to plague the manor. Everyone seems convinced that it is the work of a phan-tom—a Shadow Man who is haunting the Darcy family’s grand estate.
Darcy and Elizabeth believe the truth is much more menacing and that someone is trying to murder them. But Pem-berley is filled with family guests as well as the unexpected travelers—any one of whom could be the culprit—so unraveling the mystery of the murderer’s identity forces the newlyweds to trust each other’s strengths and work together.
By: Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
Description: Once upon a time, in a land you only think you know, lived a little girl and her mother… or the woman she thought was her mother. Every day, when the little girl played in her pretty garden, she grew more curious about what lay on the other side of the garden wall . . . a rather enormous garden wall. And every year, as she grew older, things seemed weirder and weirder, until the day she finally climbed to the top of the wall and looked over into the mines and desert beyond.
Newbery Honor-winning author Shannon Hale teams up with husband Dean Hale and brilliant artist Nathan Hale (no relation) to bring readers a swashbuckling and hilarious twist on the classic story as you’ve never seen it before. Watch as Rapunzel and her amazing hair team up with Jack (of beanstalk fame) to gallop around the wild and western landscape, changing lives, righting wrongs, and bringing joy to every soul they encounter.
By: Sarah Gray
Description: When a young orphan named Heathcliff is brought to Wuthering Heights by the manor’s owner, Mr. Earnshaw, rumors abound. Yet the truth is more complicated than anyone could guess. Heathcliff’s mother was a member of a gypsy band that roamed the English countryside, slaying vampires to keep citizens safe. But his father was a vampire. Now, even as Heathcliff gallantly fights the monsters who roam the moors in order to protect beautiful, spirited Catherine Earnshaw, he is torn by compassion for his victims – and by his own dark thirst.
Though Catherine loves Heathcliff, she fears the vampire in him, and is tempted by the privileged lifestyle their neighbors, the Lintons, enjoy. Forced to choose between wealthy, refined Edgar Linton and the brooding, increasingly dangerous Heathcliff, she makes a fateful decision. And soon Heathcliff, too, must choose – between his hunger, and the woman he will love for all eternity…
Phew! You made it!
Now that every book you were forced to read in school as been dirtied by supernatural elements, which one of these crazy adventures would you want to see on the big screen? Considering some of these these novels already have film adaptations in the works, hopefully your answer is “many of them.”