The thing looked like the hand of a skeleton with many fingers curled into the palm. Something like a short tube protruded from the palm and something like a tail was coiled beneath the base of the hand. There, on the back, was a dim, convex shape like a glazed over eye. Disgusting! But if that was an eye and not some slimy excrescence… he moved closer to take a look. And the eye moved; it stared right back at him.
Then, the ovoid sprang at him, exploded at him with the energy contained in that coiled tail. He raised an arm to protect himself. Too late! The thing’s fingers gripped his faceplate. The weaving tube in the palm’s center was stroking the glass. It started to sizzle. The faceplate was dissolving! The creature was through the plate. Must get it off! It was pushing at his mouth, tight around skull, tube down throat, can’t breathe…
“Kane, answer me,” Dallas’ voice came from above, but from down below, there was no reply.
Alan Dean Foster‘s novelization of Ridley Scott’s 1979 film Alien was the first full-length adult science fiction novel that I remember reading. At this point, I had already seen Scott’s film on VHS – after begging my mother to rent it from the local video store. It wasn’t until I read Foster’s novelization, however, that I full understood everything my young eyes had seen. While reading, I began to notice several major differences between the book (which was based on an earlier draft of Dan O’Bannon’s screenplay) and the finished film. For one thing, the Space Jockey was nowhere to be found – and the Facehugger (as mentioned above) had an eye on its back.
If you’ve never read Alien: The Official Movie Novelization, Titan Books recently reissued Foster’s book and plans to reissue his adaptations of Aliens and Alien 3 as well. In addition to Foster’s novelizations, Titan Books is also publishing brand new Alien adventures from authors Tim Lebbon (Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi – Into the Void), Christopher Golden (Baltimore, or The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire), and James A. Moore (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds).
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