Ever since Pride and Prejudice and Zombies took the literary world by storm in April of 2009, everyone and their mother has been rushing to patch together their own “version” of public domain literary classics, re-published with poorly written scenes of graphic but reasonably tasteful violence inserted randomly throughout the text. A mere six months later Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters was released by the same publisher, an all-new prequel to Zombies will be published less than a year after the “original”, and Android Karenina has been announced.

Other recently released titles from other publishing houses include Alice in Zombieland, Emma and the Werewolves, Mansfield Park and Mummies, The Undead World of Oz, and, of course, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim.

However, the rapidly diminishing popularity of these titles confirms that they offer very little in terms of true entertainment. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was an immediate New York Times bestseller almost entirely based on the title and the sheer novelty of the idea. But when a book’s entire marketing campaign is based on novelty, and the market is immediately flooded with a dozen imitators with even less talent than whatever the original author held, the entire concept has jumped the shark before it even really got off the ground.

Which means that it’s time for a reboot. And in this case, the “mashups” will not be using public domain literary classics, but popular contemporary novels.

“Initially, we weren’t sure we’d be able to do it,” said Gerald Pearson, editor of up-and-coming indie publisher FacePalm Press. “Obviously, reprinting an entire novel with a few new scenes inserted here and there isn’t protected as parody, so we had to come to an agreement that made financial sense for both parties. Fortunately, Ms. Meyer and Little, Brown and Company were very easy to work with. We worked out a deal, and I’m very pleased to announce that Twilight with Vampires will be coming out in August of 2010.”

“It just makes sense,” said Vincent Pryzbylewski, author of the upcoming novel. “Let’s face it. Nobody besides prepubescent girls and lonely Mormon housewives wants to read about some airhead girl prancing about with her sparkling ponce of a boyfriend. But the series has some fans, and I was just sitting there trying to think of something I could do with it, and it hit me. Why not put some vampires into this book? Instead of having a boring cookie-cutter romantic urban fantasy, you have a kick-ass novel that someone would actually want to read!”

Pryzbylewski admitted that adapting Twilight presented some challenges. “Probably the biggest one is that the novel primarily takes place during the day. When writing a vampire novel, that makes things a little difficult, as you can’t just have vampires walking around, even under a thick cloud cover! I was able to shift a few of the scenes to after dark, but so much of the book takes place at a school. Eventually, I decided to put Bella into a club that had meetings at night, which also had the side effect of making her into less of a loser.”

Pryzbylewski denied reports from early reviews that his version ignored the spirit of Stephenie Meyer’s source novel. “When writing my version, I very much tried to keep the same spirit and tone as Ms. Meyer’s original words. Not because they’re particularly impressive, but because it’s funnier that way. I tried to approach the story logically: what would happen if a bunch of vampires showed up in the rainy town of Forks, Washington? Obviously, people are going to notice, you can’t keep something like that under wraps. And where there are vampires, there are vampire hunters, and chest-staking violence ensues. Are some people not going to like Twilight with Vampires? Yeah. People with no sense of humor, probably, but I think the majority of readers are going to really enjoy it. I mean, just think about it. Putting vampires in Twilight? How can you go wrong?”

We’ll know for certain in August of 2010, but presented here, for the first time, is an excerpt from Twilight with Vampires:

The thickset man shrugged away from the wall as I warily came to a stop, and walked slowly into the street.

“Stay away from me,” I warned in a voice that was supposed to sound strong and fearless. But I was right about the dry throat – no volume.

“Don’t be like that, sugar,” he called, and the raucous laughter started again behind me. He stepped out into the dim light of the street-lamp, and I glimpsed his face. Pale white, with sunken black eyes, and lips that were far too red. I fumbled in my purse, looking for I-didn’t-know-what, and then my fingers found a foreign object. I pulled it out. It was a polished wooden stake with a sharpened end. How did that get in there? I had no idea, but I turned to face him, raising the stake high.

He paused and snarled, and I glimpsed something that made my blood run cold. Two small white fangs, and they wanted me.

Headlights suddenly flew around the corner. The car door opened, hitting the stocky one and knocking him sprawling to the sidewalk. I glimpsed an arm swing down and soft crunch of wood punching through bone, a quiet shriek, and the stocky man burst into flame.

The silver car unexpectedly fishtailed around, skidding to a stop with the passenger door opened just a few feet away from me.

“Get in,” a furious voice commanded. I saw a hand toss a stake almost casually into the glove box, a stake almost exactly like the one I still clenched in my trembling right hand.

© Stephenie Meyer and Vincent Pryzbylewski

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  1. ProserpinaFC on 24 February 2010, 09:23 said:

    Thus proceeds to squirt her morning orange juice out of her noise


  2. Spanman on 24 February 2010, 10:53 said:

    Oh my goodness, Twlight with vampires?! How did we not think of this earlier?

  3. Lilan Jaku on 24 February 2010, 12:09 said:

    I’m afraid that the worst thing about all this crappy-sounding nonsense is that it might be actually better than the original…

  4. Inspector Karamazov on 24 February 2010, 12:41 said:

    Hahahaha, wow. Is this for real?

    I’ve got an idea:

    Maridonia and an Editor.

  5. Danielle on 24 February 2010, 12:52 said:

    Dude! That would be the best book EVER! Twilight with actual vampires?

    Maridonia and an Editor.

    The book would be all of three pages long, minus the spelling and grammar errors.

  6. Nate Winchester on 24 February 2010, 14:23 said:

    I propose D:LT and sanity.

  7. Danielle on 24 February 2010, 14:31 said:

    Hawkmistress! and actual feminism. Or Hawkmistress! and a working knowledge of medieval society. Ooh! Ooh! How about Hawkmistress! and a cold dash of reality?

  8. Kawnliee on 24 February 2010, 14:45 said:

    I don’t think there’s any way to combine D:LT and sanity.

  9. Nate Winchester on 24 February 2010, 14:57 said:

    Kawnliee, you might be right. I mean, you’d be insane to try.

    Wait. Uh… hang on… Dang it’s the grandfather paradox all over again.

  10. ProserpinaFC on 24 February 2010, 15:47 said:

    Hawkmistress! and actual feminism. Or Hawkmistress! and a working knowledge of medieval society.

    I really don’t even see the appeal of writing in the medieval period. Seriously. People EPIC FAIL it so often, it seems more like an extreme literary sport than a historical genre.

  11. Danielle on 24 February 2010, 16:12 said:

    Medieval times sucked. Girls got married at 15 and most people didn’t live past 40. Germs were rampant, raw sewage filled the streets, and food was relatively simple.

    Like you said, I don’t know why people write medieval fantasy. Tolkien is the only one who did it well.

  12. BrandonP on 24 February 2010, 16:20 said:

    I’m not anti-medieval Europe on principle, but like other people said, it would be nice if another setting was chosen.

    Personally, I’m most interested in pre-colonial Africa right now, so that’s the setting I most often base my fantasy worlds on.

  13. ProserpinaFC on 24 February 2010, 16:34 said:

    Pre-colonial Africa? What region?

    My fantasy world seems to be shaping up into a nice mix of 1910’s Americana, but with 1990’s problems, and territory magic.

  14. BrandonP on 24 February 2010, 18:22 said:

    Mostly the Nile Valley (i.e. Egypt and Nubia), but I have done some research on West Africa and the Zulu as well. Right now, I feel like researching the Ashanti.

  15. Puppet on 24 February 2010, 18:41 said:

    Another brilliant article, Kawnliee.

  16. Artimaeus on 24 February 2010, 20:50 said:

    Eragon and Dragons?

    If this is serious, then it’s hilarious.

  17. Snow White Queen on 24 February 2010, 23:03 said:

    I love this article!

    Speaking of my preferred fantasy time period, I like the Industrial Revolution.

  18. Wizard of Toast on 25 February 2010, 00:52 said:

    What about Eragon and an actulay evil king? I would quite enjoy reading about Eragon and his wonder companions failing epicly as they tried to dethrone a competent protagonist.

  19. BrandonP on 25 February 2010, 01:39 said:

    You mean antagonist?

  20. ProserpinaFC on 25 February 2010, 10:26 said:

    cough, cough

    I see what you did there.

    Harry Potter and Heroes Who Study Magic
    followed, of course by, Harry Potter and Villains Who Don’t Make Plans That Take a Full School Year to Implement

  21. Puppet on 25 February 2010, 12:22 said:

    I really don’t even see the appeal of writing in the medieval period.

    Eh, the Medieval period is a good base for writing. It was a time where people believed in witches and dragons, it was simple and yet sophisticated time. There probably isn’t a better time for Fantasy settings, if you put it in the future everybody knows that there are no dragons or witches, if you put it too far in the past then there’s no organized civilization. The Medieval Ages, however overused, is probably the best time you could use.

    Speaking of my preferred fantasy time period, I like the Industrial Revolution.

    Ah yes, the story I’m currently working on is around this time period, and I have to say, it’s a heluva lot more interesting then anything I’ve done before.

  22. Wizard of Toast on 25 February 2010, 21:31 said:

    Oops, yes. Shame on me. hits self over head with a cod fish for confusing basic things

  23. Anonymous45 on 26 February 2010, 18:24 said:

    There could be 5 interconnected reasons, possibly. I will try to express:

    Reason 1)In the Middle Ages most of the population was illiterate so their um, “literature” was oral—fairy tales ballads and legends passed from generation to generation. So 600 years later we have stuff like:
    -King Arthur and Knights of the Round Table – Camelot -Tristan and Isolde
    -Robin hood(?)
    -Raoul of Cambrais
    Most of this stuff is pretty epic, there are dragons and battles and magic and adventure and travels and everything. Kinda sounds similar to modern fantasy no?
    Maybe to some extent modern writers want to imitate those stories.

    Reason 2) Our lives are too boring. We need an escape. The Middle ages life was insecure so it was more interesting. You know, danger, mystery, the unknown. None of today’s materialism. Friendship and loyalty actually meant something(yes that’s a fact).

    Reason 3) The Middle Ages are know for being socially unstable and uncretain—>feudal warfare, feuding, invasions and all. A setting that is socially unstable and where everything is “on the brink” is inherently a more interesting and exciting setting for a story, than when evetything is perfect, stable, in order, and basically its a utopia on earth.

    Reason 4) One word—knights. The knight in shining armour+horse+chivalry+jousting. Its pretty compelling.

    Reason 5) Its cumulative. Most people today have grown up with all the epic stories and movies like Dragonheart or Arthurian legends or Lord of the Rings so they get used to think of the Middle Ages as something awesome.

  24. Asahel on 27 February 2010, 01:39 said:

    Now, I haven’t read it, but wasn’t there a vampire in Twilight? Like, near the end? I thought I heard about a vampire that kidnaps Bella to try to lure the Greek god (I might’ve misheard; it may be a marble statue brought to life by a Greek god) she has a crush on into a trap.

    Anyway, confirm/deny?

  25. fffan on 27 February 2010, 09:28 said:

    @ Asahel really? I heard it was a leprechaun…

  26. NeuroticPlatypus on 28 February 2010, 20:09 said:

    This is awesome, Kawnilee, and it really looks real.

  27. Steph the Sue on 7 March 2010, 20:31 said:

    I thought it was real.


  28. Steph the Sue on 7 March 2010, 20:31 said:

    I thought it was real.


  29. Steph the Sue on 7 March 2010, 20:31 said:

    I thought it was real.


  30. Sir Misses The Point on 18 November 2010, 00:27 said:

    It’ll never work. Twilight already has vampires in it; they’re actually major characters and everything! No one would buy this book.

  31. Rei on 14 March 2011, 20:55 said:

    “It’ll never work. Twilight already has vampires in it; they’re actually major characters and everything! No one would buy this book.”

    Let’s rephrase that: “Twilight With REAL Vampires, Not Sparkly Pale Dead Dudes That Brood And Glitter.”

    And quite frankly, I would DEFINITELY buy that book. If anything, it can only be an improvement from the original Book of Fail. =/

  32. swenson on 26 April 2011, 22:02 said:

    How have I not read this before?! Nicely done, Rorschach. Nicely done.

    (PS: found this on StumbleUpon. II’s goin’ up in the world!)