Alien Shadows

Alien: Out of the Shadows
(Canonical Alien Trilogy #1)
by Tim Lebbon (2014)

As a child, Chris Hooper dreamed of monsters. But in deep space, he found only darkness and isolation. Then on planet LV178, he and his fellow miners discovered a storm-scoured, sand-blasted hell – and trimonite, the hardest material known to man.

When a shuttle crashed into the mining ship Marion, the miners learn that there was more than trimonite deep in the caverns. There was evil, hibernating – and waiting for suitable prey.

Hoop and his associates uncover a nest of Xenomorphs, and hell takes on new meaning. Quickly they discover that their only hope lies with the unlikeliest of saviors…

This novel takes place between the films Alien (1979) and Aliens (1986). Ripley leaves the Nostromo aboard a shuttle and is picked up 57 years later. Here Ripley is wakened after about 30 years for a visit to LV178. Having Ripley in the story means that we know that she (and her cat) will get back in the shuttle and continue on her journey.

So the fun is working out how she will survive in increasingly difficult situations. There are plenty of characters to dispose of in the usual Aliens franchise manner, and while there are elements of horror through the book it’s more of an action adventure tale.

Well written and a great read for a fan of the Aliens films.

Alien Covenant

Alien: Covenant is a 2017 American science-fiction horror film, directed by Ridley Scott and written by John Logan and Dante Harper, with a story by Michael Green and Jack Paglen. A sequel to the 2012 film Prometheus, the film is the second installment in the Alien prequel series and the sixth installment overall in the Alien film series, as well as the third directed by Scott. The film stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride and Demián Bichir, and follows the crew of a ship that lands on an uncharted planet before making a terrifying discovery.

I could tell right from the start which female character would survive right to the end. Parts were filmed in Milford Sound, in the rain. This movie is very wet, and dark. Not horror dark, just coloured darkly.

The premise is that of a colony ship that diverts to an unknown planet (bad idea) where (OH NO) a certain alien life-form got there first. The movie looks great and is suitably scary and intense. Of all the Alien movies this is probably the third best.