Alien: The Official Movie Novelization By Alan Dean Foster (Review)

Image courtesy of Titan Books.
Image courtesy of Titan Books.

As long as I can remember I have been a big fan of movie novelizations, it didn’t matter if that meant a novel or a storybook or perhaps a comic book adaption. I quickly learned that there were varying ways an author might approach the subject and which styles I appreciated more than others. My least favorite were the authors who would slavishly follow the screenplay, beat by beat it would match what occurred on film. Those authors that would inject backstory, believable backstory I should clarify are the ones that won me over. One of the names I learned to look for early on was that of Alan Dean Foster, thanks in no small part to his ghost writing as George Lucas on the Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker novelization. But he was also responsible for The Black Hole, Clash of the Titans, The Thing, Krull, and the Last Starfighter novels to name a few.

But my favorite novelization he has done? It was for Ridley Scott’s 1979 Horror/Sci-Fi classic Alien. I’ve written about my love for that film quite a bit on this site and long before the internet this book was what I turned to when I wanted to get more info on the characters of the film.

Thanks to our friends over at Titan Books I was able to review their upcoming re-release of the 1979 novelization by Alan Dean Foster (Star Wars, Alien Nation). The book is being released as part of the 35th Anniversary of the original film on April 15th with Foster’s novelizations of Aliens hitting store shelves on April 29th and Alien 3 on May 27th.

USCSS Nostromo - Alien

Some of the differences from the novelization and the film include the Nostromo itself, in the film we learn that they are hauling mineral ore but in the book they have a cargo of crude oil, the ship itself is a gigantic refinery. The eggs, facehugger, and alien itself are slightly different in appearance than what we see in the film, for one the facehugger has an eye on its back and suckers similar to an octopus. Ripley is wary of Ash (rightfully so) in the movie but in the novelization both she and Dallas find his behavior regarding the Alien more than a little alarming.

Those are just a few and I don’t want to spoil everything but Alan Dean Foster’s novelization of Alien is quite worthy to be on your shelf if you consider yourself a fan of the film. You can hop on over to Titan Book and pre-order your copy today.


Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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