Monday, August 01, 2005

Shakespeare Novels

No, not novelizations of Shakespeare. Novels, original works, starting with Shakespeare as a foundation. It's provided fodder for Grace C. Tiffany to do four novels. Her first, "My Father Had a Daughter", is about Shakespeare's daughter. Her second, "Will", is about the man himself and his relationship to his wife. The latest two are "The Turquoise Ring" (Merchant of Venice) and "Ariel" (The Tempest).

It's a neat idea, I will have to keep an eye out next time I need reading material. In general I'm more of a contemporary / science fiction sort, and it seems like this woman is doing more of a feminist alternate history sort of thing, but I'll definitely look more into it and see if any of them are something I might want to read. "Will" could be good, it would be interesting to see his life done as a novel instead of as the plot of countless half hour television shows about bringing him into the present in a time machine.

More Shakespeare-inspired Novels...

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Duane, I used to be a SF fan but fell out of the habit and now don't know where to turn for a really good SF read to balance out my Shakespeare. Any suggestions?

Duane said...

Actually, I've got a good one for you if you were a "hard" scifi fan and don't mind lots of spaceships and terra-forming of Mars sort of stuff. Check out Ilium by Dan Simmons.

On Earth, a post-technological group of humans, pampered by servant machines and easy travel via "faxing," begins to question its beginnings. Meanwhile, a team of sentient and Shakespeare-quoting robots from Jupiter's lunar system embark on a mission to Mars to investigate an increase in dangerous quantum fluctuations.

Personally I found it a little too...grandiose? For my taste. But it was the sentient Shakespeare-quoting robots that made it required reading :). It's part of an unfinished series, so if you like it, you'll have reading material for quite awhile to come.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your rapid response; hopefully here's a good one with a Shakespeare tie-in, though not SciFi.

Barnes and Noble Review at www.bn.com offers: "Magic Street", the much anticipated urban fantasy from Orson Scott Card, is set in Baldwin Hills, an upper-middle-class African-American suburb of Los Angeles, and features an enigmatic black protagonist as well as supernatural characters from Shakespeare's classic romantic comedy "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

Anonymous said...

Btw, have you read Huxley's "Brave New World"? SciFi with a touch of the bard - shaked, not stirred ;o)

Duane said...

Hi Anonyymous :).

Yup, knew about Magic Street already. Haven't read it yet, as I'm a little worried about Card when he goes off the tried and true path that made him famous.

And of course Brave New World (recognize the quote? The Tempest). Having double majored in computer science and sociology at school I got the opportunity to read many "technology screws up society" books like that one. I also recommend Kurt Vonnegut's "Player Piano" along those lines. No Shakespeare, but a very similar concept to Brave New World. I want to say Francis Bacon's "Atlantis" is in the same category as well.

Lis Riba said...

Was just using Google's Blogsearch for stuff on Shakespeare. Been reading back thru your archives.
[Are you in the Boston area?] I've read a fair bit of Elizabethan historical fiction (I strongly recommend Simon Hawke's Shakespeare & Smythe series) and a fair number of modern fantasy set in Elizabethan times.
There are a surprising lot with Shakespeare as a character, particularly among YA novels. Frankly, too many for me to keep track of, though I do maintain (and try to keep up with) a list of Kit Marlowe appearances in modern fiction
If you're interested in recs, let me know and I'll plug a few

Lis Riba said...

Oh, if you are in the Boston area, you might be interested in Bard in Boston, a central listing site for Shakespeare performances/lectures/events in New England...

Duane said...

Hi Lisa!

Yes I'm in the Boston area, but with two little ones running around (and a third on the way) I dont get to nearly as much Shakespeare performances as I'd like. On the rare "date night" with the missus (when we get babysitters) I can't drag her to Shakespeare every single time.

I deliberately don't post lots of performance news here because I have no idea where everybody else is and trying to track performances all around the world would be a bit tricky.

Marlowe appearances in modern fiction, eh? I'm intrigued. Do tell more! I once heard a quote attributed to I believe Stephen Greenblatt (the author of "Will in the World") about good subjects for a Shakespeare book. He said, "Marlowe." When asked to confine the subject to Shakespeare he said, "A book about Shakespeare meeting Marlowe."