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.
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.
Buy it Now:
Notice anything different around here?
Like a brand new website logo?
That’ll be thanks to my pal Sion Smith who’s not only a damn fine writer, but a dab hand at the ol’ DTP to boot.
So to celebrate a reboot of sorts, let’s have some cyberpunk: KITTY WANTS A HITTY is the almost-new prequel to my sci-fi thriller PLASTIC JESUS (published by Salt) and I’ve parked that bad girl right here in this thread.
PLASTIC JESUS is basically my love letter to Ridley Scott (for Blade Runner) and the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic, 2000AD. Its prequel KITTY WANTS A HITTY focuses on two of the book’s main characters, Paul and Kitty McBride, and their bittersweet relationship.
To read KITTY WANTS A HITTY, follow the ‘continue reading’ link below…
When I’m writing within a particular genre or sub-genre, I like to surround myself with films, books, comics, games and whatever else I can find within such. It gets me into the zone; helps me home in better on what stones are still left unturned.
Directed by Christian Alvert and starring Ben Foster, Dennis Quaid and Anje Traue, 2009′s PANDORUM is a sci-fi horror sitting somewhere between Ridley Scott’s ALIEN and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (with a little bit of Neil Marshall’s THE DESCENT thrown in for good measure).
Basic premise has ship Engineer Bower (Foster) and his commanding officer Payton (Quaid) awaking from suspended animation with no knowledge of where they are or what their mission is. Turns out they’re on the Elysian, a huge freighter ship from a severely under resourced Earth en route to a newly discovered and habitable world. But the Elysian itself is dying, life support dangerously close to nil, its reactor inactive. Bower must battle his way through the shadowy remains of the ship, and hordes of mutated adversaries, in order to reactivate the reactor.
This is an excellent film. It’s everything a sci-fi horror should be, the perfect blend of action and suspense. There are a lot of twists and turns; a lot of shifts in gear and tone. In some ways, it plays out like a survival horror game; something like DEAD SPACE, maybe; Bower interacting with the ragtag remains of the crew, each giving him a new piece to the puzzle as he moves through various doors and passageways to reach the reactor. It’s both moody and fast-paced and, although sombre throughout, with some incredibly bleak moments of horror, is ultimately an uplifting movie.
PANDORUM is a HUGE recommend from me. One of the finest sci-fi horrors out there.