In addition to being a science fiction, horror and fantasy nerd, I'm also quite the Jane Austen geek. So of course I was psyched when Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was released. My aunt called it "completely offensive and disrespectful of the original work," but I call it "AWESOME." Jane Austen goes with zombies like peanut butter goes with chocolate. And in the publisher's newest reinvention of her work, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, Austen goes with hammerhead shark attacks like popcorn goes with milk. The result is surprisingly delicious.
While Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was really just the novel with some well-placed clever zombie references, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters is far more steeped in the world of science fiction and fantasy. Sisters Elinor and Marianne Dashwood are still the romantic heroines of the original, but this re-telling of the novel paints them as glorious warriors. You know in the original, how Marianne sprains her ankle because it's raining and she's a lady and walking is, like hard? This version has Marianne injured while facing off with a giant octopus. It's a little more empowering than the original. And in case you didn't pick up on some of the literary nuances in Sense and Sensibility, this version bludgeons you with over-the-top sea horror metaphors that make sure that you didn't miss a thing.
Overall, I prefer P&P&Z to S&S&M, but it's not difficult to enjoy the zeal with which the author attacks the central conceit in the latter. It's certainly not a classic, but you'll never look at Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet the same way again.
You can purchase your very own copy of S&S&SM on September 15 at Magers & Quinn in Uptown Minneapolis.