From Zombies to Sea Monsters


Quirk Books has announced the followup to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, to be written by Ben H. Winters.

I know Quirk came up with the title and the concept for the novel … what did you think when you first heard “sea monsters”?
I loved the idea of sea monsters. I’d hate to say our culture is oversaturated with vampires and zombies, but it was fun to do something different. I got to research shark attacks, sea serpents, pirates, octopi. I went back and read a lot of period peril-at-sea novels — I got really into H.P. Lovecraft. I was also heavily influenced by Jaws and even the first season of Lost (much of the action in the book is set on a desolate island).

We wonder if the author was inspired by this comment from AustenBlog Gentle Reader Sisi to a post about the Jane Austen’s Secret Boyfriend book:

I have my own theory, which would benefit from the coattails of “P&P and Zombies”: Cthulhu ate the unfortunate Devonshire gentleman. [images_google_com]

Teignmouth is quite close to Minster Hall, ancestral home of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, whose progenitor departed for North America under circumstances which remain shrouded in mystery to this day. As far as I can tell, dissolute Squire Lovecraft was not unlike Gen. Tilney. HPL himself reported that the man was in Dun territory, and had any number of dubious schemes to make money (getting a job was not on) the last of which failed spectacularly in some way. Just possibly, the squire may have patriotically hoped to enlist the Old Ones to sink Bonaparte, but HPL’s implication is that the fellow needed money and didn’t care how he got it. Cthulhu’s supporters were often rewarded with shipwreck treasure and extra large hauls of fish. Really, how much worse is it to sacrifice a supernumerary child to an extraterrestrial’s entourage than to do so on the marriage market or by making him join the Navy or a smuggling ring as more conventional Devon parents did? The timing would be right for the revision of NA. HPL’s ancestor was the youngest son (exactly JA’s age) who learned an honest trade and emigrated. The fate of his older brothers is unrecorded, but I suspect they went well with Cumberland sauce. 😉

Except for the existence of Cthulhu, all of the foregoing is substantially true. If one is going to give one’s imagination free rein, why not go ventre a terre?

There’s also a book trailer, which we frankly found more entertaining than the Emma trailer (not to mention a quite deserving fate for a certain gentleman).