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Quirk Classics reboots another masterpiece with Android Karenina

What better way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Tolstoy’s death than by breathing new life into one of his classic works? After the unexpected success of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, it has become a truth universally acknowledged that a reader in possession of a Quirk Classics book must be in want of more Quirk Classics books.

Luckily for fans of the small U.S. publisher, it was announced yesterday that its fourth literary mash-up, Android Karenina, will be available on June 8. Co-authored by Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters scribe Ben H. Winters, the new novel will follow the tragic adulterous love affair of Anna Karenina and Count Alexei Vronsky, and the more hopeful marriage of Nikolai Levin and Princess Kitty Shcherbatskaya “ but with a dystopian twist. From the publisher:

These characters live in a steampunk-inspired world of robotic butlers, clumsy automatons, and rudimentary mechanical devices. But when these copper-plated machines begin to revolt against their human masters, our characters must fight back using state-of-the-art 19th-century technology “ and a sleek new model of ultra-human cyborgs like nothing the world has ever seen.

According to Entertainment Weekly columnist Kate Ward, this departure from tried-and-true Austen classics comes just in time, as the slew of Austen-inspired remixes was becoming tired:

I completely, 100 percent supported the trend of Jane Austen mash-ups “ until now. Can you say oversaturation? Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was hysterical, and wholly original. But the novelty has worn thin. […]

Because, really, there are hundreds of other identifiable, classic authors whose work could use an imaginative update. Let’s leave Austen alone for once. Why not desecrate the work of John Steinbeck, Louisa May Alcott, or, hell, even Dante?

Hmm, a Dante remix, you say? I wonder how Ward would feel about Dante’s Inferno, the new release from EA Games available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PlayStation Portable on Feb. 9. Or even the video game tie-in edition of the book, set for release on Jan. 19 with 16 colour pages of art and an introduction by Jonathan Knight, the game’s executive producer.

However, if you still can’t get enough of the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies franchise, there’s more good news: Variety announced last month that Natalie Portman will star in and produce a film adaptation of the best-selling novel. Details have not yet been released, but check out this clever fan-made YouTube video of what the movie might look like.