Monday, 22 November 2010

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies [updated]

Assorted thoughts on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
  • I cannot imagine reading the book without zombies. It's obvious from the beginning that Elizabeth will marry Darcy. The rest of the story is the dancing around social conventions of the early 1800s that delay the inevitable. Tedious, at least for me. Maybe it's only that way because so many plots since then have followed the drill set down here and contemporaneous readers found it surprising that she wound up with Darcy. But that's not good enough reason to read it today, without zombies.
  • The revised edition tails off in the latter third, with insufficient zombie-related events. Instead of a zombie attack every other chapter, we can go fifty pages without Elizabeth doing away with a ghastly unmentionable. The occasional reference to zombies just reminds you how much they're missed. They come back a bit at the very end, but it's a long wait.
  • There really ought to be an adjustable Kindle version of the book where you can dial up or down the number of zombie incidents. Turned down to zero, the book will reduce to the Jane Austen original. Turned up to ZOMBIE MAX PLUS MORE ZOMBIES TO THE POWER OF ZOMBIE TIMES INFINITY, there'd be zombie attacks on every page and reference to zombies in every paragraph. The neutral setting would be the author's default - the book as currently published. I'd stick with the neutral setting for the first half of the book, then start dialing things up. Why can't a book of this sort have a continuously variable number of zombies? We've already achieved variable cowbells for MP3. This would be the killer app for e-readers, or at least the one that would prompt me to buy a reader.
  • The Bollywood dance numbers saved Bride and Prejudice from Austin tedium. But imagine how much better Bride and Prejudice and Zombies could be! Thriller-style dance numbers, modified to Bollywood. And if the movie were released in format allowing for continuously variable zombies for the home audience....

Update: Other potential "& Zombies":
  • Atlas Shrugged, letting Hordes of Ravenous Undead Eat the Looters and Parasites. Premise: Hank Rearden's metal is used in zombie-killing devices; Francisco D'Anconia's mine is instead a "Zombie Free Paradise" that, when nationalized by the looters, turns out to be full of extra ravenous zombies (which they find when the first bus-load of new looter residents is brought there); Dagny Taggert is the world's greatest zombie-killer, until John Galt convinces her to stop trying to protect folks who've given the zombies their sanction. Galt invents a machine that uses static electricity to kill zombies, but won't turn it on until Americans turn out their zombie-influenced politicians and zombie-sympathetic ethics. The book's a thousand pages long and could reasonably by condensed by at least a third, leaving room for lots of zombie exploits.
  • The Big Short (and Zombies). The financial crisis was actually due to zombies.
  • An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and Zombies. A warmer climate facilitates the spread of the zombie infection; there's a conspiracy of Big Oil, the Trilateral Commission, the Rand Corporation, the Reverse Vampyres and the Zombies to ensure that we don't get a carbon tax. Some musing about whether a rapid increase in zombie infections could reduce aggregate carbon emission.


  1. Personally, I like Red Dwarf's 'Pride and Prejudice World' game.