1) The zombie/recency mash-up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (written by Seth Grahame-Smith, published by Quirk Books) was a huge hit when it was published in 2009 and although it has spawned a sequels, notably Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfulls, Android Karenina and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters – all titles also published by Quirk Books – it seems that the novelty can only run for so long (I imagine the sales figures for each subsequent reading make for more and more disappointing reading).
2) Alongside all the other books I’m currently reading I am also dipping in to, sporadically, an ebook version of Jules Verne‘s From the Earth to the Moon saved on my iPod. The plot is simple, gun makers of America decide that since there are no longer any wars in which to fight the science of gun making must be put to use in another way. A giant canon is conceived for the purpose of sending a projectile to the surface of the moon. This projectile is hollow and able to carry explorers.
Given the scientific understandings (or misunderstandings) of the times there are ideas and descriptions that are inconceivable now (low lying air available to breath on the moon, water available drink once there, soil to plant seeds in etc) but the driving force of the book are the characters and their desire to reach the moon, and the invention and imagination of Verne make is an entertaining read.
And to tie these two things together:
Verne was writing in the eighteen hundreds so all his work is now out of copyright and available for adaptation. I can’t help thinking that leaving the bones of From the Earth to the Moon as it is but then applying today’s science to the story would elicit a delightfully underwhelmed ‘ohh’ from a reader. The preparation and the build up of excitement should remain untouched and then once the canon is fired a couple of sentences finish the book off as the intrepid explorers are crushed to a soup-like consistance by the force of the explosion / the projective which contains the explorers melts to nothing upon reaching the atmosphere / the explorers reach the moon, open the door and are sucked in to the vacuum/instantly frozen to death.
Maybe more of an ebook thing?