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AvPGalaxy Interviews Tim Lebbon

In January 2014 Titan Books released Alien – Out of the Shadows, written by Tim Lebbon. It was the first Alien novel for 5 years. In September 2015 Tim Lebbon returned to the world of Alien literacy with Predator – Incursion (don’t let the title fool you, it definitely has Aliens in), the first in an Alien vs. Predator novel trilogy (The Rage Wars), making Tim Lebbon the first author to pen their conflict on the pages of a book since S.D Perry finished AvP – War in 1999 (not counting the film novelization).

AvPGalaxy had the chance to catch up with up Tim following the release of the first Rage Wars novel, Predator – Incursion and ask him some questions about this sortie into the world of Alien vs. Predator.

AvPGalaxy – The Founders/Rage are a very interesting concept and I’ve wanted to see something like them for a long time. What was the genesis of the Rage?

Tim Lebbon – During my initial conversation with my Titan editor, he proposed the idea of an alien species attacking humanity with weaponised Xenomorphs.  But for me, a much more interesting proposition is that humans finally managed to weaponise them … but not W-Y.  From that idea grew the Rage, and a 15 page proposal for the trilogy.  I also liked the concept of the Founders morphing eventually into the Rage, perhaps a sad, cynical idea, but it made the story feel much more whole and rounded.”

Cover art for TIm Lebbon's Predator - Incursion. AvPGalaxy Interviews Tim Lebbon

Cover art for Tim Lebbon’s Predator – Incursion.

Beware some minor spoilers. Tim Lebbon answers questions from our community members and talks about the name Yautja, the development of the novel and a little bit about we can expect in the second book in The Rage Wars, Aliens – Invasion. Head on over to our Interviews section and be sure to check out the full interview with Tim Lebbon.



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Comments: 96
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  1. The Alien Predator
    I am curious if Tim knows of any plans he's allowed to hint to us about other alien races showing up. What was the significance of mentioning the Arcturians for instance? Was the idea of introducing a new alien race (like the Dog-Aliens) his own or did Fox ask him to add more aliens?

    Out of the Shadows introduces us to the Dog-Aliens.

    Sea of Sorrows mentions Arcturians and "loads of aliens" plus the Dog-Aliens.

    River of Pain mentions trading with Arcturians and then "friendly and hostile aliens".

    Predator: Incursion adds "friendly, hostile and indifferent aliens" and once more mentions the Dog-Aliens while introducing the
    Spoiler
    Faze
    [close]
    who may or may not be sapient.

    Alien: Invasion not only mentions Arcturians, but introduces the idea of humans settling with them and forsaking their humanity. And again Dog-Aliens are mentioned and the
    Spoiler
    Faze
    [close]
    is expanded upon.

    Could we expect anymore teases like this in Armageddon? Or in Aliens: Bug Hunts?

    I'm just really curious as I recall someone mentioning one of the authors saying that there were plans for them, when he was asked about the Arcturians. I think it was James A. Moore who said it since we were all curious as to why he mentioned them in Sea of Sorrows for the first time in a long time. I wonder if Tim knows anything about that.
  2. Perfect-Organism
    I just picked up a copy an am starting to read it.  The first chapter with Mains was very cool.  It helps to know the characters.  I would love to read some more prior to falling asleep, but Aliens vs. Pinball has a hold on me.  Addictive!
  3. Corporal Hicks
    I remember Lebbon implying they
    Spoiler
    could both be inventions/servants to another race - the Engineers, perhaps? Would probably explain why the Faze gives the Rage ships a bit of a biomechanical appearance.
    [close]
  4. The Alien Predator
    Quote from: Corporal Hicks on May 11, 2016, 07:30:45 AM
    Quote from: RakaiThwei on May 10, 2016, 05:59:28 PM
    I know the multiverse thing was brought up again in one line in this book cause someone told me... Hopefully in the next one, it will be explored exactly HOW the Founders had experimented with such things rather than it be a throw away line.  ::)

    That's not the point of the comment. It's to show how advanced they have become. It's not a focus.

    Quote from: The Alien Predator on May 10, 2016, 07:14:13 PM
    Imagine if
    Spoiler
    the Faze was actually pretending to be a dumb biomechanical slug.

    I doubt something simple and dumb could build biomechanical warp-30 ships with shields, modify completely alien tech and improve upon it, as well as track people like Liliya across many lightyears.

    Plus I love how it built the Watcher in self defence, as if it knew Liliya's violent intentions, or as a response to her actions after she escapes.

    So it's probably been purposely ignoring the Founder's communication attempts in the past. It may have just played along.

    For all we know, maybe the Faze was responsible for the downfall of the Dog-Aliens... notice how they were untouched by the Xenomorphs whereas their masters got wiped out?

    Do we even know if the Dog-Aliens actually built the Faze? Or found them and implemented them just like the Founders?
    [close]

    It's still not clear if
    Spoiler
    the Dog-aliens are the masters. It was implied that they might be some sort of created or servant species.
    [close]

    I always assumed the
    Spoiler
    Dog-Aliens created the Faze to be their tools.

    But imagine it's the other way around!
    [close]
  5. Corporal Hicks
    Quote from: RakaiThwei on May 10, 2016, 05:59:28 PM
    I know the multiverse thing was brought up again in one line in this book cause someone told me... Hopefully in the next one, it will be explored exactly HOW the Founders had experimented with such things rather than it be a throw away line.  ::)

    That's not the point of the comment. It's to show how advanced they have become. It's not a focus.

    Quote from: The Alien Predator on May 10, 2016, 07:14:13 PM
    Imagine if
    Spoiler
    the Faze was actually pretending to be a dumb biomechanical slug.

    I doubt something simple and dumb could build biomechanical warp-30 ships with shields, modify completely alien tech and improve upon it, as well as track people like Liliya across many lightyears.

    Plus I love how it built the Watcher in self defence, as if it knew Liliya's violent intentions, or as a response to her actions after she escapes.

    So it's probably been purposely ignoring the Founder's communication attempts in the past. It may have just played along.

    For all we know, maybe the Faze was responsible for the downfall of the Dog-Aliens... notice how they were untouched by the Xenomorphs whereas their masters got wiped out?

    Do we even know if the Dog-Aliens actually built the Faze? Or found them and implemented them just like the Founders?
    [close]

    It's still not clear if
    Spoiler
    the Dog-aliens are the masters. It was implied that they might be some sort of created or servant species.
    [close]
  6. The Alien Predator
    Imagine if
    Spoiler
    the Faze was actually pretending to be a dumb biomechanical slug.

    I doubt something simple and dumb could build biomechanical warp-30 ships with shields, modify completely alien tech and improve upon it, as well as track people like Liliya across many lightyears.

    Plus I love how it built the Watcher in self defence, as if it knew Liliya's violent intentions, or as a response to her actions after she escapes.

    So it's probably been purposely ignoring the Founder's communication attempts in the past. It may have just played along.

    For all we know, maybe the Faze was responsible for the downfall of the Dog-Aliens... notice how they were untouched by the Xenomorphs whereas their masters got wiped out?

    Do we even know if the Dog-Aliens actually built the Faze? Or found them and implemented them just like the Founders?
    [close]
  7. Ultramorph
    That would be quite a twist if
    Spoiler
    it turned out that the Faze was manipulating Maloney and the Rage all along, and it was all just a smokescreen for the dog-aliens to invade.
    [close]
  8. RakaiThwei
    I know the multiverse thing was brought up again in one line in this book cause someone told me... Hopefully in the next one, it will be explored exactly HOW the Founders had experimented with such things rather than it be a throw away line.  ::)
  9. The Alien Predator
    Quote from: Ultramorph on May 10, 2016, 05:04:25 PM
    Quote from: The Alien Predator on May 10, 2016, 04:59:41 PM
    I am also really looking forward to it as well!

    And what happens to
    Spoiler
    Lilliya and Hashori next. So exciting. Also how the Yautja interact with the citizens of Hell.
    [close]

    I'm also looking forward to what happens with
    Spoiler
    the Faze. They way the survivors on the Othello were afraid of it, it seems like Lebbon might be setting it up to have a more villainous role in the last book. It's cool how the Rage are using it to super power that drop-hole so they can get right to Earth from the Outer Rim. As always, I still have my fingers crossed that maybe a dog-alien or two shows up, but I'm not really expecting it.
    [close]

    Maybe Lebbon might be going back to
    Spoiler
    the original idea of there being an alien race invading.

    Only he made it seem like it was humans, when it could've been the Faze all along.

    I'm also hoping to see a Dog-Alien or two... or an Arcturian although Lebbon said they won't be showing up. But perhaps in some future book...
    [close]
  10. Ultramorph
    Quote from: The Alien Predator on May 10, 2016, 04:59:41 PM
    I am also really looking forward to it as well!

    And what happens to
    Spoiler
    Lilliya and Hashori next. So exciting. Also how the Yautja interact with the citizens of Hell.
    [close]

    I'm also looking forward to what happens with
    Spoiler
    the Faze. They way the survivors on the Othello were afraid of it, it seems like Lebbon might be setting it up to have a more villainous role in the last book. It's cool how the Rage are using it to super power that drop-hole so they can get right to Earth from the Outer Rim. As always, I still have my fingers crossed that maybe a dog-alien or two shows up, but I'm not really expecting it.
    [close]
  11. The Alien Predator
    When Mains is talking to Durante, Durante mentions an "old flat movie" (I assume that means screen movie rather than holographic movie) about a group of people who land their spaceship on an asteroid but it turned out to be the mouth of a giant space worm.
  12. Corporal Hicks
    Quote from: The Alien Predator on May 08, 2016, 08:09:48 PM
    YES! I was waiting for you to reach the end, Hicks, I knew you were gonna love it muhahahaha!

    Haha! I was like "what?!"  :laugh: :laugh:

    QuoteWhile reading this book, I couldn't help but think...
    Spoiler
    does the Covenant class as a Fiennes ship? From the sound of it, the Fiennes ships as well as the Covenant both seem to be hauling a huge amount of people to distant worlds.

    And who the heck signs up for that? None of this stuff ends up well... you either end up being biologically violated on the genetic level by David, or the Rage... depends on your luck.  :P
    [close]

    Whilst I acknowledge that The Rage Wars are intended as canon at the minute, I don't expect the films to acknowledge anything from them in the slightest. I'd say they're obviously intended as similar concepts but I don't expect to hear the Covenant be called Fiennes ship at all.

    And adventurous people do! You don't got into it with the assumption you're going to meet a horrible end!  :laugh:

    QuoteAlso as a fan of Star Trek, what did you think of them using terms like "Warp-15" and such?

    Made me double-take thought it doesn't fuss me too much either way.

    QuoteAlso did you guys catch the Star Wars reference? It's official, Star Wars exists as an in-universe movie!

    No? Prey tell?
  13. j0w
    Maybe top of the line gear for fighting other humans with the same plans and rules..Not when
    Spoiler
    The other team is bringing down guys classic(for the time) paratrooper style and has air support
    [close]
  14. The Alien Predator
    YES! I was waiting for you to reach the end, Hicks, I knew you were gonna love it muhahahaha!

    While reading this book, I couldn't help but think...
    Spoiler
    does the Covenant class as a Fiennes ship? From the sound of it, the Fiennes ships as well as the Covenant both seem to be hauling a huge amount of people to distant worlds.

    And who the heck signs up for that? None of this stuff ends up well... you either end up being biologically violated on the genetic level by David, or the Rage... depends on your luck.  :P

    Also as a fan of Star Trek, what did you think of them using terms like "Warp-15" and such?

    Also did you guys catch the Star Wars reference? It's official, Star Wars exists as an in-universe movie!
    [close]
  15. Corporal Hicks
    That end!

    Spoiler
    As if my ship is going to responsible for helping devastate Sigourney Weaver's planet!
    [close]

    Quote from: The Alien Predator on May 08, 2016, 05:24:34 PM
    Spoiler
    I highly doubt Mains and Lieder will be rescued. Lebbon did tease us, he reminds us how they couldn't figure out the ship on UMF 12, but this one, Lieder was more familiar with it and just when we think she'd be able to figure it out, Aliens have breached it already...

    And no, the Othello has been completely destroyed by the nukes that Mains and Lieder set off in their last moments. Beatrix Maloney hears of the Othello's destruction later on.

    I know Incursion pretty much made it seem like they were screwed, but trust me man, this time they WERE screwed. I am willing to bet that they are deader than a dodo.
    [close]

    Yeah, I'm in complete agreement with you there. The definitive
    Spoiler
    destruction of the Othello makes it seem quite unlikely they'll have survived it.
    [close]
  16. The Alien Predator
    Spoiler
    I highly doubt Mains and Lieder will be rescued. Lebbon did tease us, he reminds us how they couldn't figure out the ship on UMF 12, but this one, Lieder was more familiar with it and just when we think she'd be able to figure it out, Aliens have breached it already...

    And no, the Othello has been completely destroyed by the nukes that Mains and Lieder set off in their last moments. Beatrix Maloney hears of the Othello's destruction later on.

    I know Incursion pretty much made it seem like they were screwed, but trust me man, this time they WERE screwed. I am willing to bet that they are deader than a dodo.

    If they show up in Armageddon and I am wrong, then I shall donate myself to the nearest Alien hive for facehugging.

    And regarding your earlier question, I loved the Xenomorphs with the exopacks on their backs to help them breathe in space. That was an interesting twist.
    [close]
  17. Ultramorph
    I actually thought
    Spoiler
    that Lebbon would subvert our expectations and have McIlveen turn out to not be a bad guy. Wasn't expecting him to go full Wren and try and hold everyone at gun point.

    Do we think that Mains and Lieder will get rescued again, or do we think they're gone for good this time?
    [close]
  18. The Alien Predator
    Quote from: Corporal Hicks on May 08, 2016, 12:54:12 PM
    Spoiler
    McIlveen getting shanked like that.
    [close]

    To be perfectly honest, I kinda saw that coming.  :P It was a badass moment and I literally cheered inwardly when it happened. Lebbon foreshadowed it throughout the book several times.

    The biggest hints were that
    Spoiler
    he was obviously a company man, the second hints were his loyalty to the company. So I wasn't too surprised to see him turn on them. He almost came off as a Burke to me, but not a greedy kind of Burke. More like a loyal one who wanted the job done.
    [close]
  19. Corporal Hicks
    Just finished Chapter 18. I wasn't expecting that. Took me by surprise.

    Quote from: SM on May 08, 2016, 07:55:24 AM
    Quoteit has laser guns, plasma weapons, and nano-tech launchers, stuff not even A:R had

    They had laser guns in Alien and this is set over 300 years after Resurrection and the marines in it have the top of the line gear.

    And by all accounts the Auriga was taken out of mothballs and it was all done on the down-low.
  20. SM
    Quoteit has laser guns, plasma weapons, and nano-tech launchers, stuff not even A:R had

    They had laser guns in Alien and this is set over 300 years after Resurrection and the marines in it have the top of the line gear.
  21. Darkness
    Don't know if you guys posted this or not but I just realised there's audiobook versions for Predator Incursion and Alien Invasion on Amazon too. I guess these will be on my to do list too.
  22. Corporal Hicks
    Quote from: predxeno on May 02, 2016, 08:20:01 PM
    TRW definitely isn't my cup of tea; it has laser guns, plasma weapons, and nano-tech launchers, stuff not even A:R had.  To me at least, it reads more like a comic book than a legitimate novel. 

    That's the wrong description. It's more like a different genre of science-fiction than we're used to with Alien and Predator. It's more like hard military sci-fi.

    Quote
    Spoiler
    I wish they kept the original idea of having other aliens control the Xenomorphs to attack both Predators and humans; having humans control Aliens just seems unnatural in the face of all the other stories regardless of fans' opinions of canon on them.
    [close]

    I am slightly with you on that. One of the things that drew me to the EU in the first place is the exploration of new alien series and etc. I'm hoping we get to see some more of the dog-aliens or their masters. Whilst I would have loved to have seen another new alien species with a fleshed out background, I absolutely love the Rage so I'm not that fussed about the change.


    Quote from: Ultramorph on Apr 29, 2016, 11:04:18 PM
    I've liked the battle scenes so far. The Rage is making good use of the xenos. Have you gotten to the part where
    Spoiler
    the xenos go EEV with breathing apparati?
    [close]

    I thought that one was a little strange. People tend to perceive the Aliens as being able to operate fine in space so I'll be curious to see Tim's thoughts behind that one.

    I'm just about 150 pages in now. Recently met the Alien experts. I really hope they stick around.


    Quote from: happypred on May 03, 2016, 01:50:22 AM
    I hope book 2 focuses on fewer characters. That was a problem...IMO...of book 1

    Agreed. The first 100 pages or so has a few random character chapters but it seems to have settled now.
  23. The Alien Predator
    Quote from: predxeno on May 02, 2016, 08:20:01 PM
    Sorry BeowolfSchaefer, while I liked OOS, if you didn't then you'll probably not like The Rage War.  TRW definitely isn't my cup of tea; it has laser guns, plasma weapons, and nano-tech launchers, stuff not even A:R had.  To me at least, it reads more like a comic book than a legitimate novel.  Also:

    Spoiler
    I wish they kept the original idea of having other aliens control the Xenomorphs to attack both Predators and humans; having humans control Aliens just seems unnatural in the face of all the other stories regardless of fans' opinions of canon on them.
    [close]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    Yeah, I liked that original idea too. Hopefully something like that is explored in the future though.
  24. The Alien Predator
    Quote from: Ultramorph on May 02, 2016, 05:23:28 PM
    I really hope that Lebbon keeps writing books set in this far future. I would love for him to write a Prometheus/Alien novel. Something self-contained maybe, like WY finding a Juggernaut and trying to exploit it.

    Yeah. I wouldn't mind if he set it another 100 years in the future, or more (depending how devastating Armageddon will be), to the point where humans have mostly recovered and the Rage War is something taught in history class.

    Then we can explore how much humans know about the Engineers. They're probably just as mysterious, if more so, than the Yautja.

    I wanna see the Arcturians, they've been mentioned in Aliens, Role Playing Adventure (kind of), Sea of Sorrows, River of Pain, Alien: Invasion. And a human police force on Arcturus was mentioned in one of the older Alien books and now Invasion solidifies that there are human settlers coexisting with the Arcturians in yet another one line reference.

    It's about time they show up! Give us some Arcturians damn it! I wanna see them explored.
  25. Ultramorph
    I really hope that Lebbon keeps writing books set in this far future. I would love for him to write a Prometheus/Alien novel. Something self-contained maybe, like WY finding a Juggernaut and trying to exploit it.
  26. The Alien Predator
    We also learn some fun history lessons in-universe.

    Such as a
    Spoiler
    Martian uprising in the 2090's (a few years after Prometheus) where General Jones helps crush the rebels and secure not only the hostages, but the Martian Cubes which are the very first alien artefacts found by mankind.
    [close]
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