Every once in a while, as an author you get a review that makes you punch the air and say, “Yes! They got it! Woo!”
This is one such: Amy Walker of the Trans Scribe book review blog reviewed Alien: Isolation, and she totally got what I was going for.
Decandido doesn’t just build this new backstory, but has the difficult job of condensing down the whole game-play scenario into a story that wont leave readers bored. Whilst walking through countless corridors for hours on end worked for the game, thanks in large part to the massive levels of tension the game built, it wasn’t going to make an entertaining read. Thankfully, the books narrative is able to capture a lot of this atmosphere, and hits all of the major beats of the game.
This doesn’t just include the big story moments, which of course would be included, but little things like the scrawled graffiti players find on the walls, Amanda making smoke-bombs out of scrap materials, and having to collect tools to progress through the station. Sometimes game adaptations can feel like poor novels as the writers work hard to include as much of the game-play experience as they can. I found this to be true in the Resident Evil novel series, where the game adaptations were not quite as good as the stories that the writer was able to craft themselves. Thankfully, this kind of thing didn’t happen here, largely thanks to the inclusion of all of the backstory segments.
Today is the official on-sale date for Alien: Isolation! Taking place between Alien and Aliens, Isolation is the story of Amanda Ripley, Ellen’s daughter, a 25-year-old technician who is trying to find out what happened to her mother, who went missing on the Nostromo fifteen years earlier. A lead takes her to Sevastopol Station, but while the station holds Ripley’s secrets, it also holds a Xenomorph that is determined to kill everything in its path…
Based on the 2014 videogame, my novel also includes detailed backstory on both Ellen and Amanda Ripley, giving the background of one of the most compelling heroes of science fiction film.
The book is out in mass-market paperback and eBook, and it should be available at your local bookstore, and also online from the usual book purveyors: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indie Bound, Kobo, Powell’s, or Forbidden Planet. There is also an audiobook available for preorder — it’ll be released on the 13th of August. EDITED TO ADD: The audio is now available, too!
Happy book birthday to me!
SYFY Wire has an exclusive excerpt from Alien: Isolation up, as well as a brief interview with me.
An excerpt from the interview:
This is DeCandido’s second story for the Alien franchise, having previously written a story for the 2017 anthology Bug Hunt, “Deep Background.” He views the appeal of both Ellen and Amanda Ripley in that they’re both strong, smart characters.
“Someone on Twitter recently described ALIEN as (and I’m paraphrasing here), ‘Nobody listens to the smart woman and then everyone dies except for the smart woman and her cat.’ One of the most appealing aspects of Ellen Ripley is that she cuts through the nonsense. ‘Nuke it from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure’ is one of the greatest moments in any action movie. Amanda is cut from the same cloth, with the added bonus that she’s a brilliant engineer.”
Check out the whole thing, plus a bit from Chapter 10 of the novel.
So if you’re attending Shore Leave 41 in Maryland, Comic-Con International in San Diego, or GalaxyCon Raleigh this month, you could well be able to get your hands on a copy of Alien: Isolation autographed by me.
I might have a limited number of special preview copies with me at Shore Leave next weekend, which you’ll be able to get from me at Meet the Pros Friday night.
At GalaxyCon, I’ll be there with Bard’s Tower, and we’re working to have copies of the book there, as well, even though the official pub date won’t be until the Tuesday after the con.
And finally, while I myself won’t be at San Diego Comic-Con, Titan Books will be, and they will have a limited number of special preview copies of the book at their booth which will have special Isolation bookplates signed by me! (I know cuz I signed ’em last weekend…..)
The book itself will be available generally on the 30th of July. It’ll be on sale at bookstores all over the place, as well as online via the usual sources.
Alien: Isolation, my latest novel, is now available for preorder from the usual online sources: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Indie Bound, and also from Forbidden Planet.
There’s also a full cover now, complete with back cover copy. In case you can’t read the image above….
THE OFFICIAL VIDEO GAME ADAPTATION — AND MUCH MORE!
From birth, Amanda Ripley’s life is riddled with hardship. Her parents live on the edge of poverty, so her mother — Ellen Ripley — seeks off-world contracts that lead to a position aboard the commercial hauler Nostromo. Then when the deep-space vessel disappears, Amanda passes into adulthood focused on discovering one thing:
WHAT HAPPENED TO ELLEN RIPLEY?
Amanda’s quest puts her into the underbelly of society, where few can be trusted. On Luna she meets someone who seems the exception — Private Zula Hendricks of the Colonial Marines — but their relationship is short-lived. Just as Amanda appears to hit rock bottom … a lead appears.
To follow it, she must travel to the remote Sevastopol Station. There she hopes to find the answers she seeks. But the station is in ruins, and death stalks the corridors in the form of a deadly alien the likes of which she never could have imagined.
Today is “Alien Day,” and in honor of that, Titan Books announced the details on three new Alien books, including revealing the cover of my novel Isolation, which is due out at the end of July. Ain’t it cool-looking?
There’s also info on the art book Alien: 40 Years and 40 Artists, featuring work by Dane Hallet, Sam Hudecki, Tanya Lapointe, Denis Villeneuve, Jordan Vogt-Robert, Terryl Whitlatch, and Jon Wilcox; and on Tim Waggoner’s novel Alien: Prototype, which features Zula Hendricks. Zula is a great character introduced in the Alien: Defiance comic miniseries, and currently also appearing in the Alien: Resistance comic. I got to write Zula a bit in Isolation, and I’m really looking forward to Tim’s book.
Check out the full story on Bloody Disgusting.
Having taken on Doctor Who, Star Trek, and Star Trek: The Next Generation, the latest in ATB Publishing’s “Outside In” series — in which writers take a unique look at each episode of a favorite TV show — looks at Buffy the Vampire Slayer in Outside In Takes a Stab: 139 New Perspectives on 139 Buffy Stories by 139 Writers. Put together by the mighty Robert Smith?, this book includes my own piece on “Fool for Love,” the episode that flashed back to Spike’s two times killing a Slayer, in China in 1900 and in New York in 1977.
It’s available for preorder from ATB at this link, and will be out on 2 November (just after Hallowe’en, appropriately).
Other contributors include Robert Greenberger, William Leisner, Jill Sherwin, Susanne Lambdin, Rosanne Welch, Rich Handley, David A. McIntee, and 130 more!
Well, this made my night….
Found another review of Nights of the Living Dead, this one by Bub Smith for Slack Jaw Punks. It’s effusive in its praise, but the following bit is what caught my eye and put a song in my heart:
…there were quite a few names on the list I had never heard of that shocked the hell out of me. Most notably Keith DeCandido. His story, “Live and [On] the Scene” was a fantastic take on a zombie outbreak with characters whose actions are real. It’s a story from the media’s side of the outbreak, but also a story of family, identity and death. What DeCandido did in just a handful pages is something most film makers never come close to.
Thank you, Bub Smith, wherever you are. Glad you liked the story. *raises glass*
…this time of the audio version!
Paul over at Audio Book Reviews has written a very nice review of the audio version of Nights of the Living Dead. This review not only mentions my story, but singles it out for praise!
Live and On the Scene by Keith R. A. DeCandido
This one starts like a real newscast. Harvey, the on the spot TV reporter, is reporting on a rash of multiple murders in the rural areas outside of Pittsburgh. Witness report seeing strangely acting people which police immediately discount as hysteria. The story alternates between the newscasts and reporter’s life as the events happen. It reminded me of Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds broadcast.
I’ll take being compared to Orson Welles any day………………….
It’s been very gratifying to see how much acclaim Nights of the Living Dead has engendered. Alex DiVincenzo is the latest to sing the anthology’s praises, with an in-depth review on the Broke Horror Fan site. He goes into great detail on several of the stories (though note mine), and at least gives a mention to all the other authors, which is nice.
Romero and Maberry did not impose strict guidelines on the writers. Tones and styles vary widely as a result, and so too do the time frames, settings, and characters. It’s interesting to see what each author came up with when given creative freedom and armed with the knowledge that Romero himself would be reading. Many stories, like the film from which they draw inspiration, are set early in the zombie uprising, though others take place after time has passed. Some even connect directly to the events of Night of the Living Dead.