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AvPGalaxy Interviews Christopher Golden

November 2014 saw the release of Aliens – River of Pain, the third and final in a trilogy published by Titan Books. Written by Christopher Golden, River of Pain took us back to the weeks leading up to the fall of Hadley’s Hope, the aftermath of which we saw in Aliens. We spoke to Christopher prior to the release of the novel in October and now that we’ve had chance to digest and review the book, Christopher has taken some time to answer some of our follow up questions:

AvPG – An aspect of River of Pain that I really loved was the focus you put on the difficulties of the frontier life. This wasn’t something that was ever really alluded to in other literature. What made you explore this in the novel?

CG – If you’re going to do a novel about colonists out on the fringes of the explored universe, desperate people who are starting over in life and will probably never get back to Earth, there’s no other way to do it. It’s very much a frontier mentality. It’s dangerous and lonely and probably maddening to think that if something goes wrong and you die, you’re dying so far from home.”

The cover of Aliens - Newt's Tale, a Dark Horse comic adapted in River of Pain. AvPGalaxy Interviews Christopher Golden

The cover of Aliens – Newt’s Tale, a Dark Horse comic adapted in River of Pain.

Be sure to check out the interview in its entirety. I’d like to thank Christopher Golden for taking the time to talk to us again. Next up with have Tim Lebbon’s Rage War trilogy, a new series that sees Aliens vs. Predator return to the novel format.

Be sure to let us know what you’re looking forward to in Rage Wars and what you thought of River of Pain down below.

 



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Comments: 14
  1. Nazrel
    No sarcasm here, but do the aliens recycle? Did they retrieve their own kind's remains and Anne's corpse (not a spoiler at this point) for building material or food?

    In the novelization corpses are used in the construction of the hive. But even disregarding that, it's not unreasonable to assume the Aliens might collect and nom the people they've killed. The Alien in the third film is seen eating someone (at least, I assume it was eating him, maybe it was just mauling that corpse for a laugh).

    and in avpr it shows one of the warriros eating. but you know avpr..sooo...yeaaah
  2. HuDaFuK
    No sarcasm here, but do the aliens recycle? Did they retrieve their own kind's remains and Anne's corpse (not a spoiler at this point) for building material or food?

    In the novelization corpses are used in the construction of the hive. But even disregarding that, it's not unreasonable to assume the Aliens might collect and nom the people they've killed. The Alien in the third film is seen eating someone (at least, I assume it was eating him, maybe it was just mauling that corpse for a laugh).
  3. Xenomrph
    To be entirely fair, FOX didn't veto any of the Newt's Tale stuff, and "it's canon" has been pretty par for the course when FOX has actually responded to questions from writers/licensors over the years. They've been pretty consistent about that.

    So in other words you signature with The Dude is pretty much what's happening here?
    That's always what's been happening. :P

    There's one question that stood out more than others since I read the novel. There was obviously a lot more carnage in the story than the film lends evidence to, and a number of alien and human corpses. But when the marines arrive in Aliens, there are no bodies laying about. No sarcasm here, but do the aliens recycle? Did they retrieve their own kind's remains and Anne's corpse (not a spoiler at this point) for building material or food?
    If the other EU comics and whatnot are any indication, then yes the Aliens recycle. They use corpses (Alien or otherwise) to build the Hive walls and whatnot. What better camouflage for an Alien in the hive than parts of other Aliens?
  4. Birth_Machine
    It's nice of Mr. Golden to drop in and address our questions and criticisms. Writing for any property with an impassioned fanbase has to as daunting as it is exciting. We are particular when it comes to what we regard as canon (It's a good thing they never made a fourth Alien film).

    There's one question that stood out more than others since I read the novel. There was obviously a lot more carnage in the story than the film lends evidence to, and a number of alien and human corpses. But when the marines arrive in Aliens, there are no bodies laying about. No sarcasm here, but do the aliens recycle? Did they retrieve their own kind's remains and Anne's corpse (not a spoiler at this point) for building material or food?
  5. Xenomrph
    Quote
    The premise provided by Fox included all of those things, and specifically laid out that the Weyland-Yutani scientists knew they were looking for something in particular. The premise supplied by Fox began by describing the book as “a novel of the Colonial Marines.”

    Aaand now we know who to blame for all of that... Studio executives. :)

    Also, judging by that reference to 'Newt's Tale' being "official continuity", but only because the author assumed so, I'm guessing that's what's truly to blame for a lot of these 'it's canon' quotations we've been seeing in the last few years. Nobody truly knows and they're kind of just trying to glue everything together in a haphazard fashion.
    To be entirely fair, FOX didn't veto any of the Newt's Tale stuff, and "it's canon" has been pretty par for the course when FOX has actually responded to questions from writers/licensors over the years. They've been pretty consistent about that.
  6. Corporal Hicks
    Aaand now we know who to blame for all of that... Studio executives. :)

    That was always going to be the case, I feel. Fox seem dead set on resetting the state of the franchise to something more akin to Aliens/3.

    Quote
    I'd have been interested in why the cocooned woman in the film wasn't included. From what I've read of reviews, she doesn't feature in the story.

    Didn't fit into the story, I suppose.

    Chris, nice to see you come over here. I realize how daunting it must be to interact with the fandom sometimes. We're an opinionated bunch.

    1) What will be the treatment of Predators be like? Will they be written as Yautja or Hish, or will they be a new interpretation?

    Hopefully neither. Something more akin to how Youll handled them in South China Sea.

  7. RakaiThwei
    As far as the Rage War stories are concerned..

    1) What will be the treatment of Predators be like? Will they be written as Yautja or Hish, or will they be a new interpretation?

    2) What Predators will we be seeing? The traditional classic Predators or Rodriguez's Super Predators?

    3) Will we be seeing both Predator species/races? If so, will the normal Predators be written as Yautja and the Super Predators be written as a differently named race, or will they just be written as "Predators" without an alien name?

    4) Will there be elements of Prometheus in the Rage War trilogy such as Engineer cameos or will this completely leave Prometheus out considering that this is somewhat AvP centric?
  8. Golden
    Just a quick note to say I just read the comments and re-read the interview and...you're right. If I'm coming off in print like I was being defensive, that's definitely because I WAS being defensive. For the record, I understand why some folks take serious issue with some of the choices made for the book. I'd say they weren't my choices--and for the most part, that's true--but that would seem to imply that I didn't like or agree with where Fox wanted the book to go, and that wouldn't be honest. I was excited about the choices they made, the direction they wanted, and I enjoyed the hell out of writing it.  It may not be the book you wanted. You may hate Newt's Tale and wish I hadn't included it. But hopefully you found something to enjoy in the novel.  As a side note to HuDaFuk...a distress message would have been sent. Simpson etc....they'd have sent a message. But as for who they would have sent the message to and whether the recipients of the message would have passed all of the information along to Gorman, that's doubtful. It's obvious in ALIENS that Carter Burke knows way more from the outset than he's letting on.  So I'd argue your point.  But that's just me.  Thanks for listening.
  9. Xenomorphine
    Quote
    The premise provided by Fox included all of those things, and specifically laid out that the Weyland-Yutani scientists knew they were looking for something in particular. The premise supplied by Fox began by describing the book as “a novel of the Colonial Marines.”

    Aaand now we know who to blame for all of that... Studio executives. :)

    Also, judging by that reference to 'Newt's Tale' being "official continuity", but only because the author assumed so, I'm guessing that's what's truly to blame for a lot of these 'it's canon' quotations we've been seeing in the last few years. Nobody truly knows and they're kind of just trying to glue everything together in a haphazard fashion.

    I'd have been interested in why the cocooned woman in the film wasn't included. From what I've read of reviews, she doesn't feature in the story.
  10. HuDaFuK
    Quote
    Also, several people have complained about the lack of communication between the company and the colony…completely ignoring the established time frame of interstellar communications. Those who are concerned about canon should also pay attention to established science within the ALIEN universe.

    I thought people complained that he didn't explain how no one in Aliens has any idea what happened? He didn't come up with any kind of excuse for that knowledge vacuum - in fact he specifically said a distress message was sent from Hadley's Hope towards the end of the book, yet the film shows us this can't have been so.

    I dunno how I feel about him in that interview... He comes across as a bit... "Screw you, my book's right."
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