Titan Books, out now
Ripley is revived centuries after her death – but is it her that the scientists really want?
Last year Titan reprinted Alan Dean Foster’s trilogy of novelisations of the Alien movies, alongside their own original trio of adventures set between the first and second films. At the time, I was surprised that Ann Crispin’s account of the fourth – and at that point, final – film wasn’t accompanying them, and now, belatedly, it has arrived to complete the collection.
Crispin took up the mantle after Foster declined the opportunity following the insistence that the Alien3 novel followed the script closely, and she’s adhered pretty much to the original screenplay – in places, probably closer to the extended cut version (apart from the ending). There are minor differences of accounts, but on the whole the story is the same – but the perspectives from which it’s told are markedly different. We get scenes from the xenomorphs’ point of view, and there’s more detail on the way in which the alien queen intends to give birth, among many other aspects.
By the time that this book was originally released, there were a number of Alien novels on the market, adapting the Dark Horse comics series (and bringing them in sync with the continuity established in the films), and this novelisation has far more in common with that line than it does the Foster novels. (For the record, a further six original novels followed, prior to Titan’s trilogy.) However, it serves as an interesting alternate take on the events on the Auriga and thanks to Titan for bringing it back into print.
Verdict: An unusual Alien movie gets a different novel treatment. 8/10