OH NO! NOT ANOTHER ONE?
Walking through the big chain book stores can a be a repetitive experience...not only because the stores have all grown to look alike, but also because the books on the shelves have all grown to look alike. Publishing, like all entertainment, has always been a business of fads but it seems to be getting a little out of control. This past decade began with the children's section turning into the Wizard World. It ended with the Teen section becoming the Vampire of the Month area of the store.
In the adult world, the stream of mash-up titles has begun to resemble a similar overblown trend. I'm sure you're familiar with the idea. Take a classic novel, throw in some absurd angle, rewrite...bingo, you got a bestseller. Well, there was one bestseller...which of course means for the next several years we're going to have to see every single copyright free book get this new treatment.
Granted, I thought the first of these books was an interesting and clever idea. Then came imitation after imitation. At least something like "vampires" is based on a time honored lore, which gives the followers some dignity above being a blatant rip-off. Not here. And what's worse is that this genre is basically the equivalent of a parody movie. In a strange way, its arrival says we don't value classic works of literature, they're old and boring so we're going to make them fun. Yay! Isn't that great. To some extent, I'm not totally against that, if the concept is done well. My problem is, I doubt publishers or booksellers care if it's done well as long it copies an idea that sells.
In that spirit, my friend John and I have decided to try our hand at the genre as an experiment. I bet him that if we queried our book idea Ulysses 3000 and the Cannibal Hamburger that some agent (if not a few) would leap upon it lecherously. If so, he's agreed to write it with me.
Obviously, we are reaching to the limits of absurdity with this particular mash-up. My hope is, that if we can get it done, we will hasten the end of the fad by rushing the most ridiculous of examples at least 5 years ahead of schedule.
I will keep you informed.