Title: Alien 3
Author: Alan Dean Foster
Page Count: 218
This one was the weakest of the three Alien books that I’ve read, but it was also the weakest movie and Foster was charged with writing a novelisation, which meant that he had to stick pretty closely to the movie script. There’s actually an unused screenplay written by William Gibson, and I can’t help wondering what it might have been like if Gibson and Foster had worked together.
Still, Foster is a cracking writer, and he did a great job of conveying the sights and smells of the penal colony that Ripley finds herself in. Somehow, the characters feel more fleshed out in the book than they did in the movie, even though the dialogue is largely the same. I think this is a testament to Foster’s descriptive work.
There are also some truly horrific scenes here that Foster handled with brutal simplicity, with lines like “At first, nothing. Then the alien ripped his head off.” Foster did it better of course, but hopefully that gives you a little bit of an insight into the kind of stuff that I’m talking about.
All in all, it’s worth reading if you like the movies, but start with the first one.