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AvP Galaxy Reviews Alien: The Cold Forge

Alien: The Cold Forge is Titan’s first original full length Alien novel since Tim Lebbon wrapped up his awesome Rage War trilogy in 2016. After that we had a single disappointing anthology series with Aliens: Bug Hunt which released on Alien Day 2017.

And now Titan are back and they’re swinging hard with Alex White’s Alien: The Cold Forge. Though no stranger to science-fiction, White is a new name to Alien literature and he’s one I want back after having read his debut entry into the Alien universe.

The novel takes place almost entirely on a spacestation known as The Cold Forge (they make weapons, but without the heat!) where Dr Blue Marsalis is experimenting on the Aliens, ostensibly to weaponize them for Weyland-Yutani, and her work is interrupted when a W-Y representative shows up to get in the way. And, of course, the Aliens escape and it all goes to hell.

 AvP Galaxy Reviews Alien: The Cold Forge

I’ll forgive you for thinking this sounds like Rogue, Labryinth or Stronghold. When you break it down into its constituent story beats like that Alien: The Cold Forge sounds like any number of old Alien stories. You couldn’t be more wrong though.

Alien: The Cold Forge might include all the typical tropes of an Alien story but Alex White just turns them all on their head. All of them. The Cold Forge is simply the most original and gripping Alien novel I’ve had the pleasure of reading for a long time.

Click here to read the full review! Beware minor spoilers. 

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Comments: 152
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  1. HybridNewborn
    The proposed audio book really gives me cause for concern.  If I don't get this as a full on Audible audio play, I will be disappointed.  I don't recall ever hearing two audio books being made of the same book, so I hope this does not spell out the death of the proper Audible play.  This book truly deserves it.

    Both Out of the Shadows and River of Pain had normal readings prior to getting adaptations. Additionally, all the readings are now done by Blackstone Audio (and have been for some time) while the adaptations are done by Audible Originals.

    I, too, hope to high heaven that this gets adapted because sweet jesus it deserves it.
  2. Perfect-Organism
    Finished reading this on Wednesday and decided to wait until I listen to the podcast before I comment.  So I listened to the podcast last night.

    This book really shows what the Aliens series can be if handled by the right person.  It was epic!  One of the best Alien books, if not the best Alien book ever written.  Thanks for that Alex, and thanks for the really great podcast.

    To me, Lucy was the Lambert of the novel.  I wonder how intentional that was.

    The proposed audio book really gives me cause for concern.  If I don't get this as a full on Audible audio play, I will be disappointed.  I don't recall ever hearing two audio books being made of the same book, so I hope this does not spell out the death of the proper Audible play.  This book truly deserves it.

    Oh, and I forgive the awkward flat headed Alien on the cover.  Is there any way I can get my hands on a copy of the instantly classic version with the erroneous 5 tubes on the Alien's back? :D

    But I do hope that Titan moves away from the artist doing their covers.  It strikes me that it may be the same artist, because there is a feel of the same cheap photoshop technique.
  3. HuDaFuK
    Finally got started on this last night. Ripped through quite a few chapters for one sitting and already liking it a lot.

    Especially liked
    Spoiler (click to show/hide)

    And yeah, Dorian is a c*nt and Blue is probably the most interesting hero I can recall in an Alien novel, so kudos to White.
  4. SM
    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">If I were to do a chapter-by-chapter COLD FORGE commentary in my newsletter, would that interest you? (<a href="https://twitter.com/Yutani_Assets?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Yutani_Assets</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/_CorporalHicks?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@_CorporalHicks</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/avpgalaxy?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@avpgalaxy</a>)</p>— Alex White (@alexrwhite) <a href="https://twitter.com/alexrwhite/status/996183452025311236?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 15, 2018</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>


    Yes, please.
  5. Samhain13
    That date seems a little odd.

    Where did the author said the aliens in this novel came from? I haven't listened to the podcast yet, since it has spoilers on the history. Can you answer it here on a spoiler tag or with a PM to me?

    Spoiler (click to show/hide)

    Oh I see, thanks. Still it would be easier to just set the story much far into the future, that way we could just imagine the aliens came from the locations of any of the other EU stories out there.

  6. HybridNewborn
    That date seems a little odd.

    Where did the author said the aliens in this novel came from? I haven't listened to the podcast yet, since it has spoilers on the history. Can you answer it here on a spoiler tag or with a PM to me?

    Spoiler (click to show/hide)
  7. Samhain13
    That date seems a little odd.

    Where did the author said the aliens in this novel came from? I haven't listened to the podcast yet, since it has spoilers on the history. Can you answer it here on a spoiler tag or with a PM to me?
  8. Samhain13
    In what year is this novel suppose to take place?

    I'm a bit of a Luddite who hasn't fully come around on listening to podcasts, do do you transcripts of the podcasts? I'm sure they're a ton of extra work, and this is just me being selfish, but I just personally find it a lot faster to skim a transcript than to listen to a podcast in real-time.

    If you don't do transcripts, I'll just have to commit and listen to the podcasts. Can I get them through iTunes?

    The last podcast was posted on avpgalaxy's youtube channel.
  9. Xenomrph
    Not even if you were lost in space for 57 years, then cloned 200 years later.
    He says this, and yet here we are.
    In the immortal words of the prophet Goldblum.... life finds a way. ;D

    Alex talks about where he imagined the eggs to come from in the interview btw.
    I'm a bit of a Luddite who hasn't fully come around on listening to podcasts, do do you transcripts of the podcasts? I'm sure they're a ton of extra work, and this is just me being selfish, but I just personally find it a lot faster to skim a transcript than to listen to a podcast in real-time.

    If you don't do transcripts, I'll just have to commit and listen to the podcasts. Can I get them through iTunes?
  10. Xenomrph
    What does SM usually say when he's accused of making a 180 about that?

    Something like this -> :laugh:
    I’m glad SM is as good-natured about the change as I am. Welcome to the fold, better late than never! :D

    Looking at it subjectively, I just imagined Wey Yu already had a xenomorph. Thereby allowing them to either egg morph, or wait for the creature to evolve into a queen and begin producing. The source of the eggs never really seemed like an issue to me. It's the company, they have em, nuff said.

    To go out in left field, and just for the fun of it, I'd say they have a company owned hive already, like I assumed it was in the fan film Alien: Special Order.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m right there with you on that. I like the idea that the Aliens are always lurking out there in the dark.
  11. Huggs
    Looking at it subjectively, I just imagined Wey Yu already had a xenomorph. Thereby allowing them to either egg morph, or wait for the creature to evolve into a queen and begin producing. The source of the eggs never really seemed like an issue to me. It's the company, they have em, nuff said.

    To go out in left field, and just for the fun of it, I'd say they have a company owned hive already, like I assumed it was in the fan film Alien: Special Order.
  12. Xenomrph
    There's nothing in it that contradicts Alien³ or Resurrection.
    Well other than
    Spoiler (click to show/hide)
    which was SM's big sticking point on why the old EU "contradicted" Resurrection.
    But I guess he's done a 180 on that position (and I couldn't be happier!). :P
    Well, not quite.

    Spoiler (click to show/hide)
    That doesn’t really change anything. If the only known eggs left in the galaxy were on LV426 (evidenced by Perez’s line about Ripley succeeding in wiping the Aliens out), then by SM’s long-standing logic, The Cold Forge still couldn’t have happened. If The Cold Forge’s eggs were sourced from somewhere else, that opens the door for vast swaths of the EU that were once “contradicted” by Alien Resurrection.

    Keep in mind, I am totally okay with this. I’m just pointing out that SM seems to be finally coming around on this concept, and that’s great. ;D
  13. HybridNewborn
    There's nothing in it that contradicts Alien³ or Resurrection.
    Well other than
    Spoiler (click to show/hide)
    which was SM's big sticking point on why the old EU "contradicted" Resurrection.
    But I guess he's done a 180 on that position (and I couldn't be happier!). :P
    Well, not quite.

    Spoiler (click to show/hide)
  14. HybridNewborn
    I haven't read it yet, but what I'm gathering so far is that the company obtains some eggs shortly after the events of Aliens and it's all somehow lampshaded as "classified?"

    It's unclear when or where the eggs came from, but the story is written so well that's it's really a non-issue. It is truly the pickiest of nits. And the author addresses it in the podcast if you're bothered enough to be curious.
  15. SM
    Quote
    It really was a non-issue within the story and I completely agree that it'd have detracted from the actual story. I do get why people have the question (obviously) so it's good to know that it was actually thought about by the author though.

    Spoiler (click to show/hide)
  16. Corporal Hicks
    Thanks all! I'm glad you're all enjoying this one.  :) Alex really was a great guest.

    I would love it if he got to write a short story on the eggs! Cold Forge, Isolation and Dead Orbit are my top three alien stories at the moment.

    I really hope we get to see Alex return! I don't really care what story he'd be back to tell, just want him back.

    In fact in series where we're often left to wonder where the Aliens come from and where the story fits in the universe, White couldn't have handled it better.

    It really was a non-issue within the story and I completely agree that it'd have detracted from the actual story. I do get why people have the question (obviously) so it's good to know that it was actually thought about by the author though.
  17. SM
    Good to hear from a writer who is also a fan of the EU.

    Spoiler (click to show/hide)

    In fact in series where we're often left to wonder where the Aliens come from and where the story fits in the universe, White couldn't have handled it better.
  18. Xiggz456
    Great podcast and a lot of awesome insight into the story! Alex White is hilarious. I really appreciate that he did his due diligence with the scientific theories/applications presented. As well as his familiarity with the franchise, complementing both Isolation and Covenant in a manner that really boosts the narrative. I would love it if he got to write a short story on the eggs! Cold Forge, Isolation and Dead Orbit are my top three alien stories at the moment.
  19. The Cruentus
    "Nothing better than throwing a noisemaker at a bunch of unsuspecting humans"  ;D That was funny. Great podcast Hicks, I'm glad that Alex White wanted to get scientific input, I think the Aliens need to be brought down to some plausible level as AVP and Covenant made them over the top. Agree about the Ripley thing too, I think Alien 3 wrapped her story up.

    "Hard work, don't know how they did it"  ;D That is because the others stole their info, while you are being original, it is harder to be original, but its much better morally.
  20. TheDerelict
    Great podcast Hicks.
    This is without doubt the best Alien novel ever written. 10 out 10 doesn't seem to do the novel justice. This novel has set the bar to what all other Alien should be in my opinion. When reading this book I felt excitement, intrigue, horror, tension.
    Spoiler (click to show/hide)
    To Alex White I say bravo.

    added spoiler tag. Hicks.
  21. HybridNewborn
    oh nice! will give that a listen while I'm doing my walking for the day :)

    So, not all the way through the cast yet, but damn this has some good insight. I really appreciated his... digressions of the "payload" and the implications of that and similarities to real-world stuff and how that might explain various aspects of the aliens' biology that the films have kind of handwaved. I also really appreciate the amount of research and due diligence he's done for the book. Good stuff.
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