Out Of The Shadows
(2014/Paperback/Titan Books by Tim Lebbon)
Out of the Shadows
is another excellent entry in the Titan Books' Sci-Fi catalog.
Taking place between Alien
(1979) and Aliens
(1986) and is the first in a trilogy of books that tie in the events
between the first two films. Written by Tim Lebbon, the book brings
you everything that you love about the Alien universe into your palms
in this gripping novella.
story takes place thirty-seven years after the events of Alien.
The set-up is a ship known as the Marion; a deep-ore mining vessel
operated by the Kelland Mining Company, which is an offshoot of San
Rei, which is an apparent subsidiary of Weyland-Yutani. The ship has
a crew roster of fifty and is in orbit over LV178, which is a
sand-blasted, storm-ridden inhospitable barren rock, home to the
Xenomorphs. However, it is home to large deposits of a compound
called trimonite, which is the strongest material known to man and
worth a fortune. Thus, Kelland have set up a mining complex down on
the surface of the planet, which runs nine levels underground. The
first four levels have been completely mined out and are currently
excavating level nine at the very bottom.
are two mining crews each comprised of twenty people who take turns
to have fifty consecutive days planetside working the mine. There is
an additional skeleton crew to handle the day to day running of the
Marion who remain onboard at all times. The story picks up during a
shift change shortly after a dropship containing the mining crew has
gone down to the surface to deliver the next team and relieve the
others to make their way back on another dropship, but all contact
has been lost with both them and the mining complex.
ten people left on board are mildly concerned but put it down to the
electrical storms enveloping the planet. Both dropships suddenly
come back into com range. Clearly, the miners have discovered a nest
of Xenomorphs in the mines and have made a bid to escape, however,
several of their numbers have been facehugged and from CCTV cameras,
the crew of the Marion
see Chestbursters being born.
soon leads to an accident resulting in one of the dropships careering
into the side of the Marion and exploding. Not only does the
resulting damage kill some vital crew members but it also knocks the
ship out of orbit and they begin a very slow descent towards the
planet where they will eventually burn up if they cannot conduct
the second dropship docks on autopilot but has four Xenomorphs on
board. The Marion's crew seal up the dropship and lock all doors
leading to the docking bay, hoping to seal them inside. They watch
on camera as the Xenomorphs grow and mature before the feed is lost.
Hooper sends out a desperate distress call mentioning the
we cut to Ellen Ripley, still asleep in the Narcissus, who has been
drifting now for thirty seven years. The Narcissus intercepts the
Marion's distress beacon and docks with it. This is now seventy
seven days after the original crash. It seems that sometime before
Parker burned him alive, Ash inserted his AI into the Narcissus'
computers as a contingency to carry on Special Order 937. Because
Hoop's distress call mentioned the Aliens, the Narcissus
automatically diverted to intercept it. When it docks, Ripley is
revived and questioned by the crew while Ash secretly drains the fuel
cell of the Narcissus.
soon learns about the Aliens trapped in the dropship in the hangar
and works out that Ash has infiltrated the computer of her ship. The
crew explains that their orbit is still decaying and that they need
to do something quickly. They decide to come up with a rather
desperate plan of using the Narcissus to get back to Earth and take
turns in the stasis pod. However, they need a new fuel cell and all
the spares happen to be down on the mine beneath the planet's
surface. Also, the dropship they need to get to the surface
currently has four mature Aliens on board...
result is shocking in this gripping all new story from Titan Books
and is sure not to be missed! When reading, you can almost hear the
score by Jerry Goldsmith and the cold visuals brought to us by James
Cameron and Ridley Scott. In space... no one can hear you scream!
James Harland Lockhart V