Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti tells the story of a young girl off to the Oomza University, basically the galaxy’s finest place to play out the ol’ stoodent life. Being Himba, Binti hasn’t exactly had it easy and she’s the first of her race to win a place at Oomza. But as she makes her way out there, her ship is infiltrated by the Meduse, a bloodthirsty scourge absolutely intent on killing everyone onboard.
ALIEN: RIVER OF PAIN is the third book in the new Titan Books trilogy billed as canonical companion pieces to the movies. Written by Christopher Golden, a dab hand at the ol’ franchise tie-ins, it tells the story of the fall of LV-426 (aka Acheron aka Hadley’s Hope). For those a little rusty with the franchise, that’s the moon where we first met a facehugger back in 1979′s ALIEN and then, 57 in-movie (and 7 actual) years later in ALIENS, it was the terraforming colony upon which Ripley and the Colonial Marines dropshipped their asses after receiving a distress call. Of course, they were too late. Acheron had already fallen, its people, save one little girl called Newt, either dead or impregnated with chestbusters-in-waiting. RIVER OF PAIN tells the story of what went down.
S.B. Divya’s RUNTIME is a superb old-school cyberpunk novella with a vital and youthful energy about it. Following the story of Marmeg, a young runner entered into the Minerva Sierra Challenge, a teched-up mud run of sorts, it’s a fresh take on a suddenly booming sub-genre that tips its hat to classics such as BLADE RUNNER, ROLLERBALL, THE RUNNING MAN and just about every must-see anime out there.
Okay, stop me if you’ve heard this one before…
Girl walks into a spacecraft filled with marines. They’re off to a planet called Hiveworld. Our gal’s badass but scared, having something of a history with the Alien sons-of-biatches they’re going to hunt. But that’s okay because there’s a company guy there and, sure, he’s a bit sleazy but she kinda likes him and thinks she can trust him and…
The second of a new trilogy of original novels set within the ever-expanding universe of the Alien franchise, ALIEN: SEA OF SORROWS by James A. Moore rather aptly mirrors the second movie of the series, ALIENS – with its ragtag band of marines (although here, they’re a ragtag bunch of mercs), Mr Byrne-esque company reps and a descendent of Ripley, the not-entirely-likeable Decker, as its main protagonist. As a fan of all four ALIEN films to date (yes, even RESURRECTION), and having a particular fondness for the second in the series (hey, I’m a child of the 80s. I watched the movie, played the game, the whole nine yards), this book appealed from the get-go. And Moore doesn’t disappoint, doing a perfect job of emulating the claustrophobia of the movie. Remember that scene where the marines first come across the xenomorphs and lose half their team? Well, this book is about 80% that kind of action. And it’s realised wonderfully.
While some of the earlier Alien tie-in novels perhaps could be guilty of forgetting their source material, SEA OF SORROWS indulgently mirrors it. And it’s all the better for it.
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