Peter Guy Blacklock

Peter Guy Blacklock

Writer, illustrator, graphic-artist, web-designer, ePublisher, Lovecraftian, ripperologist and occultist. AKA Harbinger451. Movie buff and total Horror fan.

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Has the Mash-up Novel Run its Course?

A mash-up novel (also called mashup or mashed-up novel), is a work of fiction which combines the text from pre-existing literature, often a classic work of fiction, with another genre, such as horror, into a single mashed-up narrative. Though the term itself wasn’t coined till about 2009, the first mash-up (of sorts) may have been "Move Under Ground" by Nick Mamatas, a 2004 novel combining the Beat style of Jack Kerouac with the cosmic horror of H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. The first mash-up proper was Seth Grahame-Smith’s hugely successful 2009 novel, "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies". Subsequent mash-up novels include "Sense and Sensibility and Seamonsters", "Little Women and Werewolves" and "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter" (also by Grahame-Smith), the last of which was adapted into a film of the same name. A more recent phenomenon within the genre is the combination of more than two original works, or genres, as in the case of Robinson Crusoe (The Eerie Adventures of the Lycanthrope), which combines the original novel with elements borrowed from the works of H.P. Lovecraft as well as the popular genre of werewolf fiction, and is accordingly attributed to three authors – Daniel Defoe, H.P. Lovecraft, and Peter Clines. Mash-up novels are, by their very nature, derivative and lacking in creative substance … or am I being hypercritical? Is it all just a cheap marketing gimmick that’s doomed to die from lack of originality… or does the mash-up have potential creative legs to keep it running?

  • You knocked the nail on the head with this one. Often these books will coast along on the popularity of the source material and come off as a gimmick. – AGMacdonald 3 years ago
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  • I hope it isn't dying out! Maybe a more judicious choice of original source material could be considered - I think Jane Austen has been done to 'death', pardon the pun. – JudyPeters 3 years ago
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Latest Comments

Peter Guy Blacklock

Disney has a lot to answer for with regards popular perceptions of fairy tales. Traditionaly they were the folktale parables that prepare the young and naive for the cold, dark reality of life. The world isn’t fair and just, people can be cruel as well as kind and there are horrors out there – in the forest, wilderness or even in the street – that you should guard against. They don’t always have happy endings because life doesn’t. They were meant to prepare you for a life among the predators, to teach you that the world is random and dangerous and owes you nothing, to trust no one.
All Disney tells you is that innocence is good and that if you have a good heart you will end up living happily ever after in a sugery coated wonderland… er – no you won’t. You’ll be chewed up and spat out – that’s how the real world works, and how fairytales used too.

Clarifying Current Understandings of Fairytales: The Princess or the Goblin?
Peter Guy Blacklock

I disagree with the title of this post and I’m well aware that my opinion will probably be unpopular – the title should read – The Work of Quentin Tarantino: Quantity Over Quality.
He only ever made one good movie, Jackie Brown, and of the rest I’d say Reservoir Dogs was OK at best. His remaining titles are overblown and selfindulgent homages to exploitation classics he’s not even worthy of commenting on. His movies quite literally reek of style over substance. That said, if he employed himself a good editor (ha – like his ego would ever allow an editor to mess with his ordained vision) he would be producing much better work. Pulp Fiction, for example, could have been a really good movie if it was just edited down by a good third – mainly missing out much of the pointless, rambling silioques and speaches the like of which no one ever makes in real life.
I get that, to the mainstream his work is edgy and extreme, and may seem new and different – but to anyone, like myself, who has an interest in exploitation cinema past and present, his work is derivative and a pale imitation. The Kill Bill films, as another example, can never hope to match the great Hong Kong Martial-Arts movies that he so plainly wishes to ape. And don’t even get me started on Django Unchained – the Spaghetti Western that wasn’t.

The Work of Quentin Tarantino: Quality Over Quantity
Peter Guy Blacklock

I agree that “Superhero” is not a genre as such, its a subject matter, for these movies can come in a wide veriety of genres, whether it be scifi, fantasy, war or crime. They can be comedies or they can be action movies They can be historical, contemporary or futuristic. I personally have a love-hate relationship with “superhero” movies, mainly because so few of them actually work as films in their own right, having little to offer other than that the protagonist has superpowers. Usually these superpowers make him/her unbeatable – which imediately kills all sense of drama and/or peril – or the movies themselves have no appreciable plot, other than badguys need an ass-whupping because… well, they’re bad guys and they’re mean. Possession of superpowers does not equal character and the presence of badguys does not equal plot – I wish someone would tell the Marvel execs these facts for they especially are guilty of churning out endless cookie-cutter copies of the same movie and call them a franchise so people go in droves and pay money to see the same film again and again.

Super Heroes films as Genre Films