Thursday, May 28, 2015

Hey, Mash THIS!

by Alan
What genre mash-up (existing or new, custom hybrid) would you like to write in? (ie, Sci-Fi Romance or Cozy Western)

Some mash-ups are terrible: Disco (bad music + bad clothing. And I don’t mean *bad.* I mean bad.), kale and smoothies, any of Kim Kardashian’s marriages, a combination electric hair dryer/loofah sponge (my own time-saving invention).

Some are merely questionable: Turducken, David Bowie and Bing Crosby, drive-thru liquor stores.

Others, however, are sublime: Harlem Globetrotters visit Gilligan’s Island, Candy Corn Oreos, Sharktopus, FlipSides (pretzels and Town House Crackers), chicken and waffles, anything and zombies, and, of course, the most brilliant mash-up of all time, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
Some movies hit that mash-up sweetspot for me. The sci-fi/western graphic novel, COWBOYS AND ALIENS, inspired the movie of the same name, and that’s one idea I wish I’d thought up (it worked for me, Tracy!). The movie ALIEN was a great marriage of sci-fi and horror.

When it comes to books/genres, I think mash-ups can be pretty cool, too. Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters is a great title, so I’m sure it was a great book (I didn’t read it, but, c’mon, SEA MONSTERS!). As a kid, I remember reading an anthology of Isaac Asimov sci-fi mystery stories and thinking it was a wonderful combination.

Here’s what I think would be cool/fun to write:

A medieval/sci-fi mashup.

A western/horror mashup.

A cozy mystery/horror mashup with an extraordinarily HBC (high body count). Of course, that would disqualify it from being a cozy, but we’re talking mash-ups here. I think this would veer quickly into some kind of satire, but it sure would be fun to obliterate a small southern town full of friendly busybodies (but maybe that’s just me).

Then the question becomes: would I actually want to write any of these? Not sure. I think the problem with mash-ups comes when it’s time to define the audience. I fear it would be tough to find enough readers who want to “experiment” with something unusual. For example, I don’t think many cozy readers want to read a book strewn with mangled, disfigured bodies. And I’m not sure many horror aficionados would like to read about a cast of cozy characters in a genteel setting, even with all the dismemberments.

So I guess I’ll have to settle for waiting to see what new flavors Nabisco is going to squeeze between those two chocolate-y wafers. My dream mash-up? Garlic-Onion Double Stuf Oreos.

What’s your dream mash-up? (Book, movie, or food product!)

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