If you call yourself an Alien/Aliens fan, then you’re going to love some of the recent book releases concerning our favorite xenomorph. And with the release of Alien: Covenent and Ridley Scott’s news about even more movies on the horizon, it doesn’t sound like nuking the site from orbit is going to get rid of them any time soon.
So, gather all the supplies, weld up the doors, and hunker down with any or all of these three entertaining books.
Aliens: Bug Hunt – Titan Books (out now)
One bit of dialogue from Aliens has been a source of debate for over 20 years now:
Private Hudson: Is this gonna be a standup fight, sir, or another bug hunt?
Lieutenant Gorman: All we know is that there’s still no contact with the colony and that a xenomorph may be involved.
Private Frost: Excuse me, sir, a-a what?
Lieutenant Gorman: A xenomorph.
Corporal Hicks: It’s a bug hunt.
The question is this–is the xenomorph encountered by the Nostromo crew (in the original Alien film) the only “alien” ever encountered by humans or not? Does the term “bug hunt” imply that other lifeforms have been discovered? Hicks’ response seems to indicate that the Colonial Marines have occasionally been known to cross paths with “bugs,” but the term “bug hunt” could also imply that the Marines are also tired of a never-ending hunt for aliens that produces no results. (There’s also a mention of “Arcturians” in the Aliens movie, but no further explanation is offered as to whether they are human or not, despite the derogatory comment made about them.)
You know what? It doesn’t matter. Whatever your take on it, if you’re like me… you probably LOVE the Colonial Marines, right?
Carter Burke: These Colonial Marines are very tough hombres. They’re packing state-of-the-art firepower. There’s nothing they can’t handle.
If you’d like some more adventures with the Colonial Marines, you’ll want to check out the new Aliens: Bug Hunt, edited by Jonathan Mayberry and containing 18 stories about the USCM. (One of them is written by GeekDad alumnus, Matt Forbeck.)
I’m having a very hard time deciding which is my favorite. Not all feature the xenomorph from the films, and many of the stories offer unique POVs… that’s all I’ll say without giving away too much. There’s a documentary piece about the Marines’ favorite weapon, the M41A Pulse Rifle. There’s a return to Fiorina 161 (“Fury,” the planet from Aliens 3). There’s an origin tale for a favorite “artificial person.” And the list goes on. Most of the tales involve confrontations between marines and xenomorphs, but there are enough surprises to make every fan smile.
I enjoyed every story from Aliens: Bug Hunt, and I do hope Titan Books offers up more tales of the Colonial Marines in the future. But in the meantime, if hearing the clawing and scratching on the doors is just too distracting to read… maybe try something that’s supposed to be more calming.
Alien: The Coloring Book – Titan Books (out now)
Coloring books are huge right now–I see entire tables of them at various bookstores. But I doubt any of those coloring books can hold a candle to the terror found inside these pages. Honestly, I don’t WANT to color these pages. Most of them are 100% suitable for framing as is, with the black-and-white artwork covering famous scenes from the first four films. Eight different artists have provided some amazing art for you to examine and, if you like, color to your heart’s nightmare.
From individuals (Ripley features in many, but I really like the Dallas image) to group shots (Marines and inmates and even the motley crew of the Betty), you’ll find something to entertain you. But just as the motion tracker continues to beep beep beep, most of the pages are filled with horrible creatures doing their worst. All they’re waiting on is for you to add some color.
The Art and Making of Alien: Covenant by Simon Ward, Titan Books (out now)
I want to be careful here to avoid spoilers for those of you who haven’t yet seen the movie, but I feel confident most fans know the basic story of the crew of the colony ship, Covenant, and/or have seen previews. Still, if you’re wanting to avoid any or all details, you might want to skip this one until after you’ve seen the film. (But DO go see it!)
As with all of Titan’s books related to the making of films, this one doesn’t skimp on any details. Filled with photos, sketches, line art, character focuses, closeups of tools and weapons and other technical items, and more behind-the-scenes stuff you can imagine, this is probably going to be a favorite book for fans of the movie. From the (way too short) Foreword by Ridley Scott himself to the individual character writeups and photos to the blueprints and station imagery, it’s all here. And, of course, it leaves fans wanting more and anxiously awaiting the next film.
This oversized coffee table book is 192 pages of full-color, fan-focused details that will take your attention away from the fact that the motion tracker is showing a dot just a few dozen feet from your current location…
Note: I’d like to thank Titan Books for providing review copies.
Here are my previous Geekdad posts on Alien/Aliens/Prometheus, etc.