Lewis Carroll’s books Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass have been the basis for many works almost as long as they have been around. Alice Pleasance Liddell, and the many characters and situations from the works, have popped up in books, movies, television series and graphic novels.
For example: Finnegans Wake by James Joyce is famously influenced by Alice. The novel is about a dream, and includes such lines as: “Alicious, twinstreams twinestraines, through alluring glass or alas in jumboland?” and “…Wonderlawn’s lost us for ever. Alis, alas, she broke the glass! Liddell lokker through the leafery, ours is mistery of pain.“ In addition, Carroll’s work is a major subtext in Joyce Carol Oates‘ novel Wonderland.
Here are some of the various offerings inspired by Carroll’s tales covering alternate realities, zombies, updated versions, and more…
The Looking Glass Wars, series
Looking Glass Wars – When she is cast out of Wonderland by her evil aunt Redd, Alyss Heart finds herself living in Victorian Oxford as Alice Liddell and struggles to keep memories of her kingdom intact until she can return and claim her rightful throne.
Seeing Redd – When Alyss Heart returns to her rightful place on the throne of Wonderland, she is put to the test as enemies push their own agendas while she strives to unify them all.
ArchEnemy – Virtuous Queen Alyss, who has lost the power of imagination, and her murderous aunt Redd battle for control of Wonderland.
Graphic Novel Hatter M: the looking glass wars. Vol. 1 – the saga of Hatter Madigan and his relentless search for the lost Princess of Wonderland from Frank Beddor’s, The Looking Glass Wars. While escaping through the Pool of Tears crushing centrifugal force pulled them apart, and Alyss was lost. Hatter must now embark upon a non-stop quest, crisscrossing the globe for 13 years in search of his lost Princess.
Alice in Deadland, series
Alice in Deadland – Civilization as we know it ended more than fifteen years ago, leaving as its legacy barren wastelands called the Deadland and a new terror for the humans who survived- hordes of undead Biters. Fifteen year-old Alice has spent her entire life in the Deadland, her education consisting of how best to use guns and knives in the ongoing war for survival against the Biters. One day, Alice spots a Biter disappearing into a hole in the ground and follows it in search of fabled underground Biter bases. What Alice discovers there propels her into an action-packed adventure that changes her life and that of all humans in the Deadland forever. An adventure where she learns the terrible conspiracy behind the ruin of humanity, the truth behind the origin of the Biters, and the prophecy the mysterious Biter Queen believes Alice is destined to fulfill. A prophecy based on the charred remains of the last book in the Deadland- a book called Alice in Wonderland.
Through the Killing Glass – The sequel to Alice in Deadland. Two years have passed since Alice followed a Biter with bunny ears down a hole, triggering events that changed her life and everyone in the Deadland. The Red Guards have been fought to a standstill; Alice has restored a measure of peace between humans and Biters; and under Alice, humans have laid the foundations of the first large, organized community since The Rising –a city called Wonderland. That peace is shattered in a series of Biter attacks and Alice finds herself shunned by the people she helped save. Now she must re-enter the Deadland to unravel this conspiracy that threatens Wonderland. Doing that will mean coming face to face with her deadly adversary –the Red Queen.
Off With Their Heads – The prequel to Alice in Deadland. A few months before Alice was born and fifteen years before the dramatic events depicted in Alice in Deadland, there was The Rising. A few days that destroyed human civilization as we know it, reducing much of the world to a radioactive wasteland teeming with hordes of undead Biters and controlled by a shadowy Central Committee.
Alice in Zombieland by Lewis Carroll and Nickolas Cook; illustrations by Sir John Tenniel and Brent Cardillo – When little Alice follows the Black Rat down into the gaping darkness of an open grave, she falls and falls. And soon finds herself in an undead nightmare of rotting flesh and insanity. Venturing further into this land of zombies and monsters, she encounters characters both creepy and madcap along the way. But there’s something else troubling poor Alice: her skin is rotting and her hair is falling out. She’s cold. And she has the haunting feeling that if she remains in Zombieland any longer, she might never leave. Can Alice escape Zombieland before the Dead Red Queen catches up to her?
Alice in Zombieland, White Rabbit Chronicles Vol. 1 by Gena Showalter – She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever. Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone. Her father was right. The monsters are real. To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies.
Gears of Wonderland by Jason G. Anderson. – James Riggs lives a normal life with a mind-numbing job, an overbearing boss, and a demanding fiancée. Then he witnesses the murder of his best friend. Saved from the murderer by a strange man in a white suit, James is cast down a hole and into a world he always believed was a kid’s story. Wonderland. But things have changed since Alice’s visit. The Knave of Hearts has seized the Heart throne, conquered all of Wonderland with his steam-powered technological marvels, and rules the land with an iron fist. Aided by the Mad Hatter’s daughter, James journeys to discover why he has been brought to Wonderland and how the tattoo on his arm could be the key to Wonderland’s salvation-or its destruction.
Mordant’s Need is a two-volume (The Mirror of Her Dreams and A Man Rides Through) fantasy book series by Stephen R. Donaldson, which tells the story of a woman named Terisa who travels from modern Earth to a medieval setting where there is a form of magic based on mirrors. Instead of reflecting images, mirrors are used to “translate” people and things between locations and realities. The author also bases much of the plot on a metaphor of the game of checkers (called “hop-board” in the story) instead of chess.
The Mirror of Her Dreams – The daughter of rich but neglectful parents, Terisa Morgan lives alone in a New York City apartment, a young woman who has grown to doubt her own existence. Surrounded by the flat reassurance of mirrors, she leads an unfulfilled life—until the night a strange man named Geraden comes crashing through one of her mirrors, on a quest to find a champion to save his kingdom of Mordant from a pervasive evil that threatens the land.
A Man Rides Through – Aided by the powerful magic of Vagel, the evil Arch-Imager, the merciless armies are marching against the kingdom of Mordant. In its hour of greatest need, two unlikely champions emerge. One is Geraden, whose inability to master the simplest skills of Imagery has made him a laughingstock. The other is Terisa Morgan, transferred to Mordant from a Manhattan apartment by Geraden’s faulty magic. Together, Geraden and Terisa discover undreamed-of talents within themselves.
FILM and TELEVISION
Alice in Wonderland – a film by Tim Burton, starring Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter in which a 19-year-old Alice played by Mia Wasikowska returns to Wonderland for more adventures.
The Matrix– The Wachowski brothers who directed the film have stated that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a running theme in their Matrix trilogy.
Alice – is a Syfy channel miniseries based on the novels, but set in the modern day, where Wonderland has evolved to today’s standards and Alice as a dark-haired assertive woman instead of the blond child she is in the original.