Since Prometheus came out in back in 2012, the Alien franchise has been steadily ramping up again, spreading across various media forms with varied success. Over the last few years the xenomorph has crawled its way into another film, a couple of video games and even into literature, with a prequel novel to Alien: Covenant being released in September of last year. Now the new novel Alien: The Cold Forge is on the way with a completely original story.
The franchise’s previous attempt at a novel wasn’t particularly well received. Audiences didn’t really love Covenant, so a prequel centred around the film’s large, disposable and mostly unlikeable crew was a risky choice. The book had a lukewarm reception overall, but it looks like The Cold Forge won’t be plagued with the same problems.
Written by Alex White, most known for the fast-paced, treasure-hunting Salvagers series, the novel has a more corporate perspective and details the plans and machinations of the alien-hungry Weyland-Yutani:
“A dramatic new Alien novel, as Weyland-Yutani seeks to recover from the failure of Hadley’s Hope, and successfully weaponize the Xenomorphs.
With the failure of the Hadley’s Hope, Weyland-Yutani has suffered a devastating defeat–the loss of the Aliens. Yet there’s a reason the company rose to the top, and they have a redundancy already in place. Remote station RB-323 abruptly becomes their greatest hope for weaponizing the Xenomorph, but there’s a spy aboard–someone who doesn’t necessarily act in the company’s best interests. If discovered, this person may have no choice but to destroy RB-323… and everyone on board. That is, if the Xenomorphs don’t do the job first.”
While the story is “original”, not tied to leading into or out of any of the movies, it’s still easy to see similarities with previous films. A spy for the company acting unscrupulously is something we’ve seen before in several of the movies. What we can hope for, that would really make this novel interesting, is more insight into the company’s plans – why they do what they do, and why they keep at it even though everyone keeps dying.
At 320 pages the book is fairly meaty and should have enough space to breathe and flesh out its story. Alien: The Cold Forge will come out later this year on 24th April.