Those poor miners on LV178. all they wanted was a chunk of trimonite and a steady wage, but instead they got a batch of the scariest creatures ever dreamed up in movie monster history! Which is also the simplest way of describing the set up for Tim Lebbon’s new sci-fi/horror novel set in the Xenomorph universe, Alien: Out of the Shadow! Here’s the real synopsis:
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 crashes into the mining ship Marion, the miners learn that ther was more than timonite deep in the caverns. There was evil, hibernating – and waiting for suitable prey. Hoop and his associates uncover a next of Xenomorphs, and hell takes on new meaning. Quickly they discover that their only hope lies with the unlikeliest of saviours… Ellen Ripley, the last human survivor of the salvage ship Nostromo.
Alien: Out of the Shadows is the first of a new series of Alien novels to be published by Titan Books and the first of a trilogy taking place between the 60+ years that Ellen Ripley slumbered in stasis after the disastrous events on the Nostromo. Which is important to remember, because hopefully the future books will answer questions like, why bring Ripley into this story at all? Since we already know her future, why not craft a “Ripley free” story, that pits a new crew of blur collar space workers against acid for blood – killing machines? I’m not asking these questions to diminish Lebbon’s writing ability. He created characters, and intense situations, that fit in nicely with the Alien films of the 1980’s, but for some reason Ellen Ripley had to make an appearance, shoehorning her into more traumatic events between the time of Alien and Aliens. Which in turn made a highly predictable novel. From the moment Ripley made contact with the crew of the Marion we (the readers) know that she is safe (she has to be! She still has another movie to do! Oh, and I’m not counting anything after Aliens, those other two films just shouldn’t have happened), but worst still, we know that the crew of the Marion is doomed. Or do we… Sorry, I had to add the dot dot dot, because although the novel does follow the traditional “process of elimination” standard of most horror movies, it also ends in a rather nice way and making it possible for more novels. Well, Ellen Ripley free novels hopefully. Jesus, the woman survived two encounters with the xeneomorphs and then had to do Alien 3 and 4, let her rest in piece already.
Alien: Out of the Shadows is in stores now or you can get your copy online at Amazon.com!