I’m thrilled to reveal the cover of the Alien Film Franchise Encyclopedia, a brand new in-world guide to the Alien universe, due to be published by Titan Books on 25 April, 2023 – just in time for the official Alien Day celebrations.
Through 2021-2022, I was part of a four-person writing team working in a top secret virtual bunker alongside my inestimable colleagues Clara Čarija, Seonaidh Kennedy and our stupendous head writer, editor and expert navigator-of-the-Middle-Heavens Joe Fordham. You’ll have to wait until publication day to view the results of our labours, but here’s the publisher’s blurb to whet your appetite:
The definitive volume on the Xenobiology, terraforming, synthetics, humans, corporations, military, judiciary, culture, science, spacecraft, hardware and weapons of Alien, Aliens, Alien3, Alien: Resurrection, Prometheus, and Alien: Covenant. Structured in 3 traditional encyclopedic volumes – Non-Human, Human, Action on Nature – illustrated throughout with concept art, photography and illustrations, with a historical timeline and alphabetical index. From the Alien to Zeta 2 Reticuli, from the birth of Peter Weyland in 1990 to the USM Auriga’s Earthfall in 2381, this is the comprehensive and authoritative official tome on the Alien films.Titan Books
For a little background into how this project came about, I recommend you read Joe Fordham’s excellent blog post on the subject. What’s spooky is how closely Joe’s own Alien origin story aligns with mine.
Like Joe, I first saw Alien as a teenager on the film’s first theatrical release, thanks to my dad sneaking my into the cinema past the signs proclaiming “X-Certificate,” “Warning – Stroboscopic Lighting Effects” and “Not Recommended for Pregnant Women.” Like Joe’s, my bookshelves are groaning under the weight of all the Alien-related publications I’ve acquired over the years, from the original novelisation by Alan Dean Foster, to Paul Scanlon’s and Michael Gross’s mighty The Book of Alien, the extraordinary Giger’s Alien – the list goes on.
Also like Joe, I had the pleasure of covering one of the Alien films for Cinefex, the legendary magazine of cinematic illusions where, for many glorious years, we were colleagues together. Joe researched and wrote Alien Genesis, his wonderful article on Prometheus that appeared in Cinefex 130, published in 2012. Five years later, in 2017, my article Dark Materials, covering Alien: Covenant, graced the pages of Cinefex 153.
Ridley Scott’s Alien is without question the film that ignited my passion for movies and the magic that goes into making them. James Cameron’s Aliens is the film that poured fuel on the fire and set me firmly on my path. More recently, my Cinefex experiences brought me into direct contact with the filmmakers I revered in those early years and now, thanks to Joe’s decision to invite me aboard for this latest excursion into the Alien universe, and in the delightful company of Clara and Seonaidh, the journey continues.