The Official Movie Novelisation

Author: John Shirley
Pocket Books
RRP 5.99
ISBN 1 4165 0995 X
Available 03 October 2005

Far in the future mankind has taken its first tentative steps into the great unknown. Governments have fallen to be replaced by the corporations. One of these, Union Aerospace Corporation, has established a research base on Mars, where they engage in experiments too secret or dangerous to be conducted on earth. Now one of the experiments has gone horribly wrong and a crack squad of marines is sent in to quarantine or contain the situation. But the marines training cannot prepare them for what they will find. On Olduvai base the marines will finally know the meaning of doom...

John Shirley has really taken on a mission here; let's face it the film was pants in the extreme, stealing many of its ideas from previous movies. Corporations in control, that's as old as Rollerball and Alien, Space Marines - that would be Aliens, and opening the door to hell... well Faust comes to mind. So this is the book of the film of the game. Not an auspicious beginning.

To be honest there's not really much to say about the book, Shirley does a good job at translating the screenplay into book form. He beefs out the back story a little, but nothing that really adds much to an already lackadaisical narrative. We learn a little more about the socio-economic environment and some personal stuff about the marines - but not enough to care when they get greased.

Personally, whilst he is the author of many other good books, I feel he missed an opportunity to really bring something of himself to this novel. Still, I'm not sure that he would care. I'm sure that the payment for the book would have bought him something nice.

So, great game, poor film and a workmanlike novel. One for the fans I'm afraid.

Charles Packer

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