Tuesday, 29 May 2018
It was doubly desirable when I saw the feature on Hitchikers inside as well. Hitch hikers was only twenty five years old at that point. I remember at the time it seemed unimaginable for so much time to have passed since it first aired. By now , by then that is, it just felt so fresh still. Even though it felt like it had always been around, like Doctor Who or David Bowie or Ken Dodd and The Diddy Men.
The Cold Forge is a Weyland-Yutani research facility , a remote space station , RB232, which has been set up to attempt weaponising the xenomorphs discovered on LV427. Hadley's Hope now being completely destroyed following the horrendous events which occured there( or the film Aliens as it is perhaps better known.) Learning little by way of species self-preservation, it would seem, Weyland-Yutani misunderstand the simple formula; Human beings plus Xenomorphs equals nightmarish disaster. It is a given. Put the two together and you end up with something from the bad dreams of the poet John Milton and the artist and visionary H R Giger. It also seems the interview process for becoming a member of the Weyland-Yutani staff involves proving oneself to be a complete inhuman bastard. or at the very least to be possessed by insane tendencies for mutual destruction. Actually in that aspect it is a depressingly familiar current science fiction trope; with all crew members being awful human beings, as if only the very worst of us will make it to the stars. Witness the idiotic Prometheus crew and the even more obnoxious covenant crew. They were supposed to be a colony mission but came across as a bunch of hipsters on their way to Ikea for some outre shelving. As though all the people who were too self conciously pouty to be allowed into anyone's Fight Club were packed off on a deep space one way journey to spare humanity the casual acceptance of woolen beanies worn by anyone other than Special Ops( A sure sign of The End Times.)
Dorian Sudler, the main protaganist in this book, is a Weland-Yutani "cleaner" and ruthless corporate stooge. he makes Patrick Bateman seem like a Butlins Red Coat. He is in his own self made way as monstrous as anything that ever leapt out of an alien egg. Alex White allows us, the reader, to be privy to his brutally efficient internal monologue in the most uncomfortable of ways. he is pure corporate evil squeezed into his form fitting Weland-yutani briefs, which get a mention once or twice. It is perhaps an echo of the final encounter between Ripley in her underwear at the end of the first film and all the naked vunerability that implied, the naked determination to survive.
Tighty whities in space! I would pay to see that movie.
Much as I enjoyed this read, and I did, literally just ripping through it. I do wish that some of the writers connected to and working within the Alien franchise would insert some characters of a more humanely altruistic bent. Elizabeth Shaw was a fine example of brilliant dazzling humanity travelling to the stars, more please. The only other kind, brave and heroic figures tend to be artificial beings( Apart from the Big Bad Himself; David.) and even their morality has more to do with excessive programming. How mankind likes to think of itself rather than how it actually is.
Maybe that is the point.
Oh dear..how depressing.
Unlike the book which is exciting and page turning. There is a lot to like in it. Particularly if you are a fan of the earlier films. I suspect Alex White wrote it for you.
The above is a concept painting for Alien Covenant by artist Khang Lee. It explored some ideas for a road not taken in the making of this movie. I cannot recommend highly enough you perhaps explore this work further on line. They are really quite brilliant.
Thursday, 17 May 2018
Real magic rarely does.
Someone very cleverly dummied this up and yet the reality is beyond parody.
I attempted such a story myself, back in the day. We Belong Dead it was called. A story about the creation of a surly adolescent creation, until at some point I realised I was merely writing the story of any teen .
Mary Shelley crafted a being that lives way beyond the constraints of the medium it was born into. Mother of Frankenstein and midwife to a new age of Gods And Monsters.
In order to create one must first destroy, David reminds us at one point, signposting his intentions when it comes to him dabbling in his own workshop of filthy creation.
Its the sort of thing Gods say, I suppose.Whatever creed, whatever pantheon, their dispassionate cruelty supposedly above morality, or the accepted notions of such, mere mortals attempt to live by. When in fact the Olympian Hoi-Poloi are fueled by nothing so much as resentment. Probably the most destructive and elusive of all human character traits. There is nothing a man or woman will not do when possessed by this sense of entitlement. Its a deadly sin that never gets a mention. That is how insidious it is.
And Ridley Scott gave birth to a character riddled with it.
Tuesday, 1 May 2018
Just before the doors close and the assembled cardinals sequester themselves in order to choose the next Pope a mysterious one hundred and thirty eighth cardinal arrives and throws the predicted outcome to the winds. Its a great tale, well researched and an engagingly unfolding exploration of what happens when the earthly conspire to contribute to the heavenly.I tried to tell a tale rifting on these concerns way back in the day when I worked for a while for an American publisher. The history of the Vatican is the checkered history of a small city state. Its a history rich in detail, subjectively a string of far reaching notions of control through presumptive morality. You may well call a spade a spade but in the Catholic faith A Pope is The Pope.
When in Rome...
Some of these Wordsworth Editions are just fantastic, nicely bound with tasteful covers.
You could do worse than treat yourself to a few.