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Book Review

Book Cover



Author: Alan Dean Foster
Publisher: Titan Books
RRP: £7.99, US $7.99, Cdn $9.99
ISBN: 978 1 783 29017 8
Publication Date: 24 April 2014

To celebrate the thirty-fifth anniversary of the first Alien film, a nice collection of new and reprinted stuff has been hitting the shelves.

Aliens (319 Pages) by Alan Dean Foster is the novelisation of James Cameron‘s film. Having survived her first encounter with the Alien, Ripley finds herself being rescued in deep space, even further away from home in time. Having found some form of safety, it takes the new colony on LV-426 going silent to tempt her to join a group of marines for a rescue mission, but as we all remember its not long before the marines are the ones that need rescuing.

Foster proved his writing bones with the second book. Having adapted essentially a haunted house motif for the first Alien film, he proved that he could write action sequences just as well. Of course, it helped that he had adapted the first film and had already been able to capture Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley very well.

Probably the better written of the first two Alien novelisations, it does have both good aspects and some bad. On the good side Foster is able to spend more time rounding out the characters; also he was able to reintroduce scenes missed out of the original version, which were not to see the light of day until Cameron’s director's cut was released.

On the bad side, is the sanitation of the language, but one must remember that prior to the days of VHS, let alone DVD and Blu-ray, this was the only way younger audiences could get to experience the film, unless they were lucky enough to be able to sneak into the cinema. It seems odd to think, given the sort of stuff which is sold as young adult literature that such a consideration should have been taken, but it was a more innocent time, at least in the eyes of the censors.

So a nice reprint for Foster fans and for Aliens fans whose original copy might have seen better days.


Charles Packer

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