Sunday, January 08, 2012

Crazy Crossovers

Some months back, when it was in a 99c special offer, I added "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" to my book collection. If you haven't heard of it, Seth Grahame-Smith took most of Jane Austen's work (by now in the public domain) and added a zombie subplot. 

Then about a month back, one of Google Plus's more popular contributors,Tessie L'Amour, offered up the option of personalizing her (NSFW) books so that the purchaser could pick the names of the protagonists. That idea isn't new as I recall my parent getting me a personalised book when I was young. It involved a wizard who enjoyed peanut butter and had a magic sunflower. See, these things can stick with you !

Wanting to experiment with some Google Apps Mail Merging, I borrowed both concepts. Following the guide, what came out was a web-form where you can enter the desired first and last names, plus an email address, and you get a personalised PDF of the first of the Sherlock Holmes short stories, "A Scandal in Bohemia". A google search quickly found similar personalisation of other classic works.

This is the story where Sherlock meets the only woman he truly respects. The personalisation relates to the name of the woman (Irene Adler in the original), rather than Sherlock or Watson. I'd prefer an actual ebook format, but that looks a lot trickier. I've settled for sizing the PDF as A5 which makes it readable on my Kindle.

I haven't (yet) included the original Sidney Paget pictures, though I suspect they will also be in the public domain by now. That may happen in future, but work beckons for tomorrow.

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