Saturday, February 28, 2009

Aliens



Aliens is a terrific novelization. It's probably my second favorite (after Buckaroo Banzai, which I'll talk about eventually).

It helps that it's by Alan Dean Foster, who's written a million of these tie-in books (including Alien, which a lot of people like) and is really good at it. It's not unheard of for an established author to write a novelization or two (did you know that The Sword of Shannara's Terry Brooks wrote the novelization for The Phantom Menace?), but Foster has written bucketloads of regular sf at thesame time he's written bucketloads of movies. It occurs to me that I should stop buying my books in buckets. It's not as convenient as I thought it was going to be, and once I get the books on my shelves, I'm left with a garage full of buckets.

One reason I love the book version of Aliens is that I love the movie. When it came out, we didn't have these newfangled DVDs, and it was even considered a little fancy to purchase a movie on VHS. But I could happily reread the book and eventually litter my conversation with quotes. Many, many quotes. I have a friend who taped Aliens off HBO and watched the first segment of the movie (from the time the Marines wake up from cryosleep through about the time that Apone dies) every day for a few months.

Another reason is that this book has the deleted scenes in it. It's fairly easy to see them now, but at the time, all we had to work with was rumors of a cut that was shown on network television that had them. The book starts on the colony, with Newt's parents being the first ones to find the alien eggs. It also establishes that Newt and her brother were experts at the game of hiding in the air ducts and other hidden places in the colony, which helps explain how Newt survives.

It's a nice reminder that some movie novelizations are awesone.