In an early post on her Poisoned Apples & Smoking Caterpillars blog here at Boomerang, Aimee Burton discussed the emergence of what she described as mashups, the combining of literature with monsters.
I prefer the term ‘massics’ (classics with monsters). However as the originator of the term, I get to include pretty much whatever I feel like adding to that classification, including Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter, where a young Queen Vicky becomes something of an action hero (Bruce Willis in drag?).
While this blending of literature with the Monster Mash probably offends the purists, I find it amusing in a quirky sort of way, although that probably says more about my warped sense of humour than anything else.
This cross-genre infestation of Austen with horror devices has not been happening in isolation. At the same time we have seen vampire slut fiction… er… that is to say, paranormal romance, really take off. Increasing amounts of shelf-space in bookstores is being devoted to this merging of the horror and romance genre.
I blame Buffy the Vampire Slayer for romanticising the Undead. Of course I only watched the program to enjoy Joss Whedon’s story telling, not for the visual delights of Sarah Michelle Gellar… Charisma Carpenter…
Sorry, the mind wandered there for a bit. Now where was I?
Oh yes – romanticising vampires. I don’t really see anything terribly romantic about someone wanting to hack into my jugular and suck up copious amounts of my caffeine-impregnated red stuff. Besides, I read of a study that found the greatest incidence of homosexuality in the animal kingdom is found in colonies of vampire bats. Makes you wonder just what the good Count D was really looking for when he started hanging around the windows of Victorian bedrooms, finding nubile young women abed, their camisole-clad chests gently rising and falling in sleep, long dark tresses strewn across the pillow, revealing a pale, slender neck….
Sorry. Mind wandered again.
So what will become the next big thing? I predict a giant merging of all genres.
We start with young Muffy the Monster Molesterer, sitting in her kitchen, cleaning some of her monster-molestering equipment. There is a shimmer in the air and two men clad in unconvincing velour uniforms suddenly appear.
“Curious, captain,” remarked the one with pointed ears, holding up what appeared to be an old tape recorder in a leather holder.
“Who says… thatI’m…. curious?” asked the other.
“Whoever you are, haven’t you heard of knocking?” Muffy snapped.
“Miss, we… have come… fromthefuture… the fate… of… the world… liesinyourhands. Tonight… you must-”
“Tonight? Sorry – all booked up. Monster molestering, you know? So, bugger off.”
The two in velour shrug their shoulders.
“Well, we tried,” said the one without the pointy ears. “Beam us up, Snotty.”
With another shimmer, the pair disappeared.
Apparently used to things appearing and disappearing, Muffy buckled on her equipment belt of molstering doo-dads and headed out to rid the world of evil. Again.
Just down the footpath, she tripped over the body of a young, bespectacled lad, clad in the uniform of Fartsworth College for the Magically Inept.
“Help me,” the lad whispered through the bloodied froth on his lips. “Voldemart…”
“The new supermarket? About three blocks over. But I think what you really need, buddy, is a doctor.”
Satisfied at doing her good deed for the day, Muffy continued along the footpath until the whisper of leathery wings made in spin around, reaching for a number three spike.
“I vant to suck your – oi! Wot you doin’ stickin’ me wiv dat pointy thing, missus?”
Ignoring the now crumbling pile of vampiric ash, Muffy dashed across the road to the bus stop. A man clad in goatskin, came plodding along the footpath past the bus stop bench, muttering to himself.
“I say, my desert island is becoming rather busy these days. You simply cannot be shipwrecked in peace any longer.”
The bus arrived and Muffy boarded, taking a seat along side a burly, tattooed, half-naked man who was holding a large harpoon.
“Morning, Muff. I got a new tatt. Wanna look?”
Muffy’s perusal of the tattooed bicep was interrupted by a clean-cut young man leaping from his seat.
“If this bus goes under 50mph, it’s going to explode!” he cried.
A lanky man, wearing his best 1970s polyester slacks, unfolded himself from his seat and pointed a revolver the size of an ICBM at the young hero.
“Go ahead – make my day.”
His finger tightened on the trigger and, with the gunshot still echoing the passenger’s ears, the young hero lay in a bloodied heap in the aisle.
“Good one, dipstick,” Muffy snapped. “I think he was supposed to be the good guy.”
The bus driver turned around to reveal a hideously burned face and brandishing a leather glove with blades emerging from the fingertips.
“Ready for a ride, boys and girls?” the driver cackled.
At which point, the bus drove off a convenient cliff, putting all the passengers, as well as the readers, out of their misery.
What do you think? Should I start making plans to purchase a personalised jet? Nah, you’re probably right.
Now you will have to excuse me, yet again. My laptop is feeling suicidal after being forced to type this gibberish.
Ross Hamilton is an author of speculative fiction, some-time poet and a book reviewer. Among other places, he can be found loitering in the vicinity of www.awritergoesonajourney.com or his website www.rosshamilton.net. Unfortunately, he thinks he is funny. We would rather you didn’t encourage him.