Saturday, February 20, 2010

Something Borrowed, Something Blue


I don't make a secret of the fact that I write Jane Austen Fan Fiction. Honestly, people might say I also write Dumas and Shakespeare fan fiction -- and get paid for it! So Pride and Prejudice and Zombies filled me with a sense of DUH because of course I could have done that.


My friend Sofie Skapski and I did do A Touch of Night -- Pride, Prejudice and Dragons -- which is set in the same world as my Magical British Empire trilogy. We're considering releasing it as a free ebook, to promote the series. I have started on a cover, that's about 1/3 done (part of the dragon, her dress... not her or the other half of the dragon or the dark sky behind.


Anyway, this is how it opens (and it, like the cover, needs a good go-over before it's ready to release even as a promo.)


So what other books would you like to see as crossovers with fantasy, or other fanfic enhancements? Let's get wild and have a Saturday party over it.


A Touch of Night


I

Elizabeth Bennet climbed the stairs, the sounds of rejoicing from her mother and younger sisters ringing in her ears. She was filled with trepidation. How would she tell Jane the news? How could she? Oh, it was all very distressing and Jane, the kindest, sweetest sister in the whole world was so far from deserving the dreadful curse she suffered.

She opened the door to Jane's room and found her sister sitting by the window, a notebook in her lap, a pen in her hand. Jane was the most beautiful of the five daughters: curls like spun gold, classical features, porcelain complexion and an elegant figure. Sitting by the window in the small, dark room, she looked like an angel and very far above her setting -- the simple country house of impoverished gentry. Jane deserved to be enshrined in a stately mansion and showered with all the riches of the world -- but that was never to be -- and all because of the terrible accident of her birth.

Jane looked up from her notebook and at Lizzy. Her sweet face held an expression of fear that made Lizzy's heart shrink in her chest.

"What is it, Lizzy?" she said, putting her pen back into the inkwell she'd rested on the windowsill. "Why is mama so happy?"

"Netherfield," Lizzy said, and had to swallow to build up the courage to continue. She knew what a blow her next words would be to her beloved sister. "Is let at last."

Jane gave a small shriek and her beautiful, pale hand went up to cover her mouth. "Oh, no." She moaned. She hunched against the window embrasure, trembling, filtering moonlight casting ghostly shadows upon her stricken face.

Elizabeth hurried to relay the rest of the news. "Kitty and Lydia say that it was rented to a rich gentleman from the North. His name is Bingley. He's said to be very handsome and they find it most impressive that he has a blue jacket. He's due to arrive soon, with a large party. Seven ladies and five gentlemen." She paused and then continued ruefully, "Too many ladies and gentlemen."

"A large party," Jane said, nodding forlornly, as though unable to command thought for more than repeating Lizzy's words. She looked at the notebook, which lay open on her lap, and then up towards the moon, which was waxing towards its greatest fullness. "Oh, Lizzy, what shall I do? I've been used to having the liberty of Netherfield's preserves and parks. Now I shall be forced to go towards Merryton." She paled at such a terrible idea.

Lizzy could do no more than nod. She watched Jane visibly pull herself together. "And yet," Jane said, smiling wanly, "Mama is so happy."

Lizzy sighed. "With five daughters to marry, any gentleman taking a house in the neighborhood must seem a godsend. For you know that any gentleman in possession of a large fortune must be in need of a wife."

"Oh," Jane said. She jerked out of her hunched position to sit tall and defiant. "I hope she doesn't plan on his marrying me."

"I'm sure she does," Lizzy said. "Since she has five dowerless daughters, and you are easily five times as pretty as the rest of us. I know exactly how her mind works - she plans on you marrying Mr. Bingley, thereby throwing the rest of us girls into the path of other rich men."

"But... Lizzy," Jane said in some agitation. "You know it can never be."

"Yes," Lizzy said, nodding slightly. "But Mama doesn't."

"Oh," Jane said, putting her head down in her hands. "Mama shall push me at him, shamelessly."

"Indeed."

"Oh, Lizzy." Jane's lovely eyes were moist with tears. "What shall I do?"

"When Mama is set upon a course of action, there is not much anyone can do, however I shall do my utmost to protect you," she said.

"As you always have," Jane said, gratefully.

"What else could I do?" Lizzy asked. "Your affliction is not of your making. How it pains me that you have to suffer and hide away in obscurity as you do. You have the heart of an angel, Jane. No one could wish for a better sister. You do not deserve this."

"Oh, Lizzy. It is you who are the angel, always kind and willing to protect me as no one else would do."

"What else would you have me do?" Lizzy asked. "Turn you in to the authorities?" She patted her sister on the shoulder. "Now don't worry too much about Netherfield. We will survive this, as we've survived other adversity in the past. I will do everything in my power to ensure that nothing will happen to you."

"I am very lucky to have you as a sister," Jane said, tears again moistening her lovely dark brown eyes.

The sisters embraced and then Elizabeth departed from the room. She knew that Jane wished to be alone. Jane hated for anyone to see her distress. Lizzy, not feeling equal to sharing the nonsensical jubilation downstairs, repaired to her own bedchamber. Even from the privacy of her room, she could hear her mother shrieking with glee, "And Lydia, you shall dance with Mister Bingley."

Lizzy sat upon her bed, unable to shake the melancholy that was overpowering her. She removed her day clothes and put on her nightgown. True, she could have called on the maid to do this, but she preferred her solitude and had long ago learned to take care of herself -- and Jane -- in these small ways.

After undressing and putting her clothes away, she slipped into her nightgown and dressing gown, got her silver brush from the dresser and started brushing her hair. While doing so, she walked to the window, threw it open, and gazed out at the devious moon.

It was very close to being full now. People with less internal fortitude than Jane would already be feeling its relentless pull. She looked at the brilliant satellite in the dark sky with near hatred. What problems the moon caused! She wished there were no moon.

At that moment something dark and looming interposed between herself and the moon. Lizzy blinked to refocus, and realized it was a dragon, huge and a luminous green. She blinked again, and the beast had flown closer.


8 comments:

C Kelsey said...

Hmm, how's this for a crossover:

Draw One in the Dark and...

Ghost.
::Runs away and hides::

Sarah A. Hoyt said...

You can run...

But you can't HIDE.

Sarah

matapam said...

Oh. Gosh. I'm drooling at the thought of what I could do to my Bete Noir, The Scarlet Letter. That worthless worm of a self flaggelating priest would get his come uppance . . .

The Old Man and the Sea hooks a pleisiosaur.

Some of the classic western TV series, add the return of an active Native American Coyote/Jokester type god checking out the changes and not sure he approves. You haven't seen cattle rustling done like this, before. Bank robberies with magic. The Hole in the World Gang. Butch Coyote and the Sundance Kid (Think goat horns).

Sarah A. Hoyt said...

Pam,

The old west and magic sounds like fun, actually. Rip Roaring fun. Maybe they herd dragons?
:)

Sarah

C Kelsey said...

Forget the old west stuff! I want the Old Man and the Sea crossover. That would be awesome. It would also probably much shorter than the original (which is really short anyway).

matapam said...

Fire drakes. They herd fire drakes. They ship them east to run the steam engines of industry.

Chris, I'm not sure I'd dare touch the Old Man. I couldn't produce the style, either of prose or story. Feel free to give it a try.

Sarah A. Hoyt said...

Matapam

WE MUST write this. No, serioulsy. We MUST.

Let me dig out from under musketeers and a couple other commitments. Poke me around April?

Sarah

matapam said...

WWI Flying Aces with magic might be more fun. We'd have to avoid zombies, because G8 has already been done. ;)