So yeah, I was so pumped up to read this that I queued up all the Alien movies in my mom’s Disney+ account. I then had a bit of a panic because I promised a hot date night to this girl I met on Tinder. After a few deep breaths, and a couple shots of whiskey, I was back at ease though. Chicks like aliens, right? I’ll just combine the two! So, I grabbed a couple Little Caesar’s Hot and Ready’s, a bag of gummy worms, and a twelver of Michelob Ultras (gotta watch the carbs bros) and was all set for a sick night!
She comes over and I’m pulling out all the moves like stacking two pieces of pizza on top of each other and calling it a calzone. She kinda laughed, but wasn’t eating much, must have eaten before she came over. After the chestburster scene, she excuses herself to go to the washroom. Turns out she just got up and left! After Alien finished, I went to check up on her in the bathroom and she wasn’t in there. Can you believe that dudes? Just bailed on me! Oh well, her loss, more gummy worms and couch space for me.
Anyways, I’m going to sugar coat this to keep this review kid friendly. The Alien 3 movie fucking sucked. So, it’s pretty sweet that it gets a shot at redemption here with this draft screenplay turned novel. It’s like when a boxer gets screwed over by the judges in the title bout and the fans are all booing and throwing beers in the ring. A while later he gets his rematch and totally destroys that guy. I’m the champ! *Aaron Rodgers belt-miming* Same thing here and we get a rad novel from two cyberpunk top dogs rather than a stitched-together nihilistic nothing-burger like the movie.
Yeah so, the Sulaco drifts off course into this soviet-esque socialist commune space territory with Ripley, Hicks, Bishop, and Newt still aboard in hypersleep. The Union of Progressive Peoples send in a boarding party to see what’s up and what they can steal. They take Bishop but get attacked by a facehugger in the process and bail. The Sulaco then continues to its destination which is this massive moon-sized space station called Anchorpoint. The boarding party there is fucked up by a stowaway alien which they do manage to kill. So now the UPP (commies) and the Weyland-Yutani (capitalists) have the alien bio-matter and are trying to weaponize it to get the edge in this cold war. Bro, it doesn’t take a genius to know how this one is going to end up.
The huge departure from the movies is that Ripley is sidelined. She’s in a coma is fired off in a lifeboat before all hell breaks loose. Hicks and Bishops know what’s going to go down and are trying to stop it before it’s too late. When it becomes too late, they’re trying to lead an escape while nuking the station to oblivion.
It is weird having Ripley completely absent and I can see why the story was kyboshed for the movie. Having Hicks as the main character was fine but it falls back into those tropes where the marine hero is here to save the day. OORAH! I much preferred the unassuming warrant officer who becomes this ultimate alien killing badass.
But yeah, the narration felt a little off-kilter for an Alien story. That said, the evolution of the aliens and how they infect was a great continuation of the Alien universe. A new breed of aliens in a larger habitat with the gore factor cranked up is most definitely a solid read.
Anyways, that’s about all I got. Adios amigos!
Alien 3: The Unproduced Screenplay by William Gibson will be published on September 7, 2021, and you can pre-order a copy here. A huge high five to Pat Cadigan, Titan Books, and NetGalley for the ARC.