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AvPGalaxy Interviews Christopher Golden

I have just uploaded an interview that we conducted with Christopher Golden, author of Titan’s next Alien novel, River of Pain:

“Of the three of us, I had the least instruction and most leeway, simply because the big idea for my novel is fairly clear—tell the story of Acheron leading up to the events of ALIENS.  Of course I wrote a thorough outline that was vetted by Fox.  The challenge was to come up with an original story that would still have drama and surprises and mystery in it, even though every person reading it would already know at least a major element of the climax.  Here’s what I can tell you:  even if you’ve seen the movie a hundred times, you only know part of the story.  In RIVER OF PAIN, you’ll get the full picture of what unfolded prior to ALIENS.”

Be sure to check out the complete interview in our interviews section. I’d like to thank Christopher Golden for taking the time to answer our questions. Alien – River of Pain is due out 28 November.



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Comments: 29
  1. Perfect-Organism
    There's a interestig article over on the Tor website where they interview both Christopher Golden and Chris Roberson. It focuses on how River of Pain intersects with Fire and Stone. It's some cool stuff.

    http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/11/christopher-golden-christopher-roberson-interview-aliens

    Nice find.  I agree.  You can really tell how much Christopher Golden cares about continuity while reading the novel.
  2. Ultramorph
    iTunes has a lengthy preview of River of Pain. It's a bit tricky getting the link on my phone, but a simple Google search brings it up pretty quickly.

    I looked forward to reading it later!
  3. Xenomorphine
    "The corporation co-financed that colony along with Colonial Administration..."

    They're part owners.

    After having just rewatched a couple of scenes, you're right. But that just goes to show they're not solely in charge, by any means. Their logo is all over Operations, but that's no different from getting investment from the EU for things here in the UK: It's money with strings attached and a stipulation you have to put up lots of European Union signs, so that they get good PR. The same as racing cars have their sponsor's logo all over the place (or how, as our space exploration advances, we're likely to see a lot of Space X logos on stations and outposts which are technically under NASA's authority). The colony, as we saw it, is also chiefly there to run the atmosphere processor, as they're still at an early stage. Many of the staff we see are probably there to run it and would be cycled in/out, trained by Weyland-Yutani in how to maintain their hardware.

    Note how the Jordans, who are there to be the actual colonists and prospectors, don't have all the company logos on their vehicle and clothing. Notice, too, how on Newt's citizenship Award, there's a complete absence of any Weyland-Yutani logo:

    http://www.b26354.co.nz/newt/pictures/dsc_1199.jpg

    I'd imagine that "Colonial Administration" is to do with the US (or UA) government, who would ultimately be the controlling authority. Federal authorities are the ones who send the troops in to investigate. Weyland-Yutani didn't (even though, as we saw in 'Alien 3, they have the capacity to do so). So, in this case, I'd think things which impact citizenship and actual colony status, aren't under Weyland-Yutani control. Just stuff like the atmosphere processor and whatever they might have secured the rights to, such as future mining sites.

    It's also worth pointing out that any colonisation effort would have to come under the authority of an existing nation's government. Otherwise, they could just do as they pleased without any legal consequences, as there'd be no legally-recognised laws to govern their day-to-day operations. All the kinds of things which end up in court, in today's world, would have to be dealt with locally and if there's no existing legislation to dictate what is and isn't allowed under particular circumstances, they could just make it up as they go along.
  4. Xenomorphine
    I've got no problem with the notion that WY might have fingers in the USCM pie. I could find it quite likely that they're able to pull strings or manipulate key personal to get things done. It'd also be quite believable that WY might have a contract with WY/ECA to provide protection to their colonies.

    This came up elsewhere on the forum, but as I said there, Weyland-Yutani wouldn't legally own the colony, to the best of my knowledge. The contributed a lot to it, but that's not the same thing. They'd have probably just sent out their own security forces to deal with the situation, for one thing.

    Colonial Marines would be obligated to provide protection for government territory. They aren't Private Military Comtractors, like Blackwater. That's the kind of outfit a company would contract to provide security if it doesn't have any of its own (which, in Weyland-Yutani's case, I'd find difficult to believe).

    Lockheed don't 'hire out' the US military to protect their facilities, for example. However, the US government can choose to hire private security firms, such as Wickenhut providing security for Area 51, famously.

    Of course, I'm trying to apply realism to all of this (in the spirit of what Cameron attempted to inject in his movie). It's quite possible Golden has taken a more superficial overview of the situation and gone 'full sci-fi' with all manner of assumptions.
  5. Leo Hobbs
    So cool to that Derrick Russell from the fire and stone series will appear in River Pain!
    Also excited to hear that Tim Lebbon is working on novels set after Sea of Sorrows! :D
  6. SM
    The book wisely plays it very loose with the exact relationship.

    I thought perhaps one of Ripley's parents had perhaps re-married at some point giving her half-siblings and starting a different branch of the family that lead to Decker.
  7. Ultramorph
    Hmmmmm. I'll have to listen to the Moore interview again. I'd thought he was asked if Decker was related to Ripley 8 and he said he was not.

    I seem to remember the same thing. Hicks asked whether Decker was descended from Ripley 8 or the original, and Moore said the original. Not to mention that Rollins mentions Amanda Ripley, which would also point in the direction of Decker descending from her.
  8. ClockworkHorror
    James Moore, iirc, said something akin to 'How do we know Burke was telling the truth?' with regards to Amanda's lack of children.
    And I thought the Auriga crash was a relatively recent thing in Sea of Sorrows.
  9. HuDaFuK
    And a main character that was like 'He's what? And he's who?' Burke might have been a corporate stooge who saw an opportunity and jumped at it, but that doesn't make him a compulsive liar.

    Something that occurred to me recently - how do we know Decker isn't Ripley 8's descendant, rather than the original Ellen Ripley? I initially assumed it to be the latter, but if it was the former, that would certainly help explain his telepathic link with the Aliens.
  10. ClockworkHorror
    I lurk a lot, but wanted to throw in my two cents.

    Out of the Shadows started brilliantly. Got weak in the middle. And the ending was a bit of a head shaker.
    Sea of Sorrows was pretty weak all around. So much gunfire for nothing. Mired in action movie cliches. And a main character that was like 'He's what? And he's who?' Burke might have been a corporate stooge who saw an opportunity and jumped at it, but that doesn't make him a compulsive liar.
    If River of Pain gives us a good backstory without trying to do its own thing, I'll be happy.

    The biggest disappointment is that the novels are titled ALIEN. I was hoping for something more Alien, and less Aliens. Mind, I got Alien: Isolation, so I can't complain.

    I'm going to keep an open mind for River of Pain. I like Chris's writing. I'll enjoy it, regardless. But I hope it sticks closer to the dynamic we've seen in Fire and Stone so far.
    Ordinary people in extraordinary situations.
  11. USG Ishimura
    The Security guys you encounter early in Mission 16 of Alien Isolation are wearing some basic Colonial Marine armor, if you look at the helmet neck 'lobster plates' and the main torso and on-top of the shoulders.
  12. HuDaFuK
    Did they need to?  And even if they did, did they need to reference them?

    They didn't need to, no, but you would've thought a previous group of Marines being stationed there might be brought up in the briefing, or when they find no trace of them upon landing. Leave no Marine behind and all that. If they're in the same job you'd expect Gorman's Marines to at least care about their brothers in arms.

    Obviously it's a retcon at the end of the day, but with this new Colonial Marshal Bureau that Isolation came up with, why not stick some of those guys in there? That would be far more logical.
  13. Corporal Hicks
    "Knowing what we know about the Colonial Marines and Weyland-Yutani, their inclusion is entirely logical."

    Equally curious and suspicious as to what this could imply and worried this could be another example of someone wrongly assuming Weyland-Yutani owns the Colonial Marines.

    I've got no problem with the notion that WY might have fingers in the USCM pie. I could find it quite likely that they're able to pull strings or manipulate key personal to get things done. It'd also be quite believable that WY might have a contract with WY/ECA to provide protection to their colonies.

    However, with A:I introducing the Colonial Marshalls I'd expect to see them on every off-world site. That said, I suppose between A:I and Aliens, they could have dissolved.

    I'm dubious to see how it's handled but I'll go in with an open-mind.

    *Marachuk

    Thought I'd corrected that. I'll fix it when the CMS stops playing up.
  14. SM
    Did they need to?  And even if they did, did they need to reference them?

    Like Xenomorphine I think the issue could be the mistaken belief that the Company owns the marines.
  15. HuDaFuK
    "Knowing what we know about the Colonial Marines and Weyland-Yutani, their inclusion is entirely logical."

    Equally curious and suspicious as to what this could imply and worried this could be another example of someone wrongly assuming Weyland-Yutani owns the Colonial Marines.

    Yeah, that quote bugged me too, because there's nothing particularly logical about it at all. If there were Marines there, why didn't Gorman's boys know about them?
  16. Xenomorphine
    "Knowing what we know about the Colonial Marines and Weyland-Yutani, their inclusion is entirely logical."

    Equally curious and suspicious as to what this could imply and worried this could be another example of someone wrongly assuming Weyland-Yutani owns the Colonial Marines.
  17. Ultramorph
    Nice interview, Hicks!

    It's cool that Golden and Roberson made sure that their stories could co-exist. I'm looking forward, in a few months' time, to reading all the new novels and comics as the gigantic story it's all meant to be.

    I can't wait to see what happens on the Derelict!  ;D
  18. King Xeno
    Really look forward to this book. While the Dark Horse series Newts tale explored Hadleys Hope shortly before the Xeno infestation, I am excited to go back even further with River of Pain. Can't wait! :)
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