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Interview with Alex White, Author of Alien: The Cold Forge – AvPGalaxy Podcast #65

We have just uploaded the 65th episode of the Alien vs. Predator Galaxy Podcast (right-click and save as to download)! Our latest episode includes an interview with Alex White, the author of the absolutely brilliant recent novel Alien – The Cold Forge!

Be warned, this chat does contain some spoilers for the book so I would recommend reading the book first and seriously, if you haven’t already, what are you waiting for?!

 Interview with Alex White, Author of Alien: The Cold Forge - AvPGalaxy Podcast #65

Alex at his book signing on #AlienDay 2018.

Alex talks about how he was inspired with the despicable Dorian Sudler and how to channel Sudler and manipulate your way into writing an Alien book! (just kidding!) We also nerd out with plenty of Alien talk, more about his time working on The Cold Forge and where exactly those eggs came from!

You can follow Alex on Twitter and you can also check out his website here. Alien: The Cold Forge is currently available to order from Amazon (UK/US) and plenty of other good bookstores. If you’ve enjoyed The Cold Forge, be sure to also check out Alex’s new original novel – A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe.

What did you think of our latest episode? Be sure to let us know down below! You can also listen to any of our previous episodes in the Podcast section under the News tab on the main menu. The Alien vs. Predator Galaxy Podcast is also available via iTunesPodBean and Stitcher.

Keep a close eye on Alien vs. Predator Galaxy for the latest on Alien and Predator! You can follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to get the latest on your social media walls. You can also join in with fellow Alien and Predator fans on our forums!



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Comments: 103
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  1. Perfect-Organism
    I'll spell his name properly when he can draw properly.

    Forgot to add the tongue in cheek icon there SM.

     :P

    I propose going forward we only write EI here until the drawing improves...   :laugh:  Earth War did not work at all!  On any level!

    But do take a look at how Verheiden treated thoughts of characters in his Aliens novels.  That would be perfect for Cold Forge.  Come to think of it, this was one of the things that really worked well in the books.  I didn't even realize how much it upped the maturity level...
  2. Perfect-Organism
    Yes, of course that's what that reference was...

    Not even remotely like Sam Keith.

    Um, it's I before E.  He was always really insistent about that.  I believe there was even an article about him once entitled I before E.

    Doubt it.

    Not sure why they haven't re-issued them already to be honest.  I'm guessing it's a license thing.

     :'(  That's sad-ish.  I really liked those and a TPB format that ties everything together would really improve the experience I think.  They should have done it as an anniversary thing...
  3. Xiggz456
    Ya I thought they were released concurrently. I always kind of thought that the last line in “Newts Tale” about adventures that never will be was a total reference to the original trilogy. And that the original trilogy is probably a hypersleep dream lol.
  4. Perfect-Organism
    Man I wish I had a chance to read Resurrection in Comic format.  I guess I could try Ebay, though I do wish DH would just publish these as graphic novel compilations.  SM?  Any way this will ever happen?  They could recolor and publish The Abyss while they're at it.

    Ha!  Just bought them both on ebay.  Still wish I had a TPB or Graphic novel of this and Alien 3 on my book-shelf.  Its more dignified...
  5. Perfect-Organism
    I thought about the idea of thought bubbles in an Sliens comic.  The idea rather turned me off actually, so I went to book one to see how the it was handled when Hicks was thinking.  They didn't use thought bubbles.  Instead, there was a box which was very similar to a narration text.  It worked in Book One and it would work well for an adaptation of Cold Forge...
  6. HuDaFuK
    I quite liked both the Alien 3 and Resurrection comics, but SM's right - they're pretty average all told, and if I wasn't such a fan of the films and interested in seeing how the adaptations differ from them, I wouldn't give them a second thought. In fact I doubt I would've bothered at all.

    As Xenomrph says - the first film's comic is very much the exception when it comes to comics adapting pre-existing material. I can't see the novel working satisfactorily as a comic at all. Too much of it was internal.
  7. SM
    Can't really think of anything to recommend the Alien 3 adaptation, except maybe the Queen crawls out Newt's mouth.  And the covers.

    Very, very mediocre.
  8. Perfect-Organism
    The Alien 3 adaptation was amazing!  Loved it.

    The graphic novel as a medium is still vastly untapped.  It is possible to do amazing things with it.  It really comes down to the skill of the artist and the writer.  Do I think that it would be possible to do something amazing with this story in that format?  Of course.
  9. Xenomrph
    Dark Horse, please negotiate the rights to adapt this into graphic novel form.  Make it so.
    The problem with this is, unless they really plan it out well in advance, comics have a finite and usually specific number of pages, while a novel can be as long or short as the storytelling needs it to be. Do you cram the novel into 4 comic book issues, potentially abridging things or altering the pacing? Or do you extend it into 5 issues, and have to pad it out to fill all the pages in the issue? How do you convey characters' inner monologues from the novel in comic book form? A bunch of thought-bubbles?
    There's a reason why the Dark Horse comics were adapted into novels and not the other way around - a novel's lack of page limitations allows for greater character depth, more time spent addressing plot/logic inconsistencies, etc. Yeah 'Alien: The Illustrated Story' is a great adaptation of the first movie, but it's the outlier - more often than not you end up with the 'Alien3' or 'Alien Resurrection' adaptations.
  10. HybridNewborn
    The Cold Forge is absolutely best read after the reader has at least experienced one of Ridley Scott's prequels.

    Picking up that, this book really did feel like the first work to seamlessly blend stuff from the original tetralogy and the prequel duology, in addition to expanded material like Isolation. Marcus was, in my mind's eye, played by Michael Fassbender, the alien life cycle stuff was obviously heavily influenced by Prometheus and Covenant, the premise built up on people and politics from Aliens, Seegson being there in such a prominent way (as opposed to the throwaway callouts in the audio dramas) and the descriptions of how the creatures moved and stomped and such was straight out of Isolation... I know the comics have payed lip service to drawing from Prometheus and integrating that into the wider A/P franchise, but all that's really amounted to is Engineers being about. This book, however, really does a masterful job of weaving influence together from everything, and that's on top of being a damn fine piece of literature in its own right.
  11. The Old One
    Finished The Cold Forge

    Now, it wasn't perfect.
    That said;
    Doctor Marsalis is someone I'm going to remember in the years to come, when I look back at the good Alien stories that have well defined protagonists and antagonists. Something that's started with Walter in Covenant for me personally and continues with Marcus in this is, a feeling that these Synthetics deserved better, they were more virtuous and humane than the humans they tried and failed to help.
    I really didn't expect Seegson to play as large of a role as they did, whilst being totally compatible with the story being told- not feeling like a tie in or just a cameo, in this way it almost feels like a quasi-sequel to Alien Isolation.
    If Alien Isolation is "closing the book" despite taking place between Alien and Aliens, is more appropriately viewed/played after Alien 3 is taken into context- then The Cold Forge is absolutely best read after the reader has at least experienced one of Ridley Scott's prequels.

    It must be commended for really being a white-knuckle-type gripping book, especially near the end where it's using it's established use of POV changes to leave you on a never-ending stream of constant cliff hangers. Even though I have some contention with Dorian, namely the Alien admiration is becoming old hat with now individuals (David, Dr Church, Tribes Scientist-) and cults, although the latter is more tolerable, he still is excellently fleshed out and exquisitely despicable. Almost gets off too easy if you ask me, although I wouldn't rob that ending as it's written. The real gem of the story isn't really the Alien itself, but the way it causes tensions to turn to stampede and the Snatchers serve an excellent purpose in that regard, where in any moment they may shear their way through the paragraph to the character you've been following and unless you've got a magic matchstick up your sleeve, well...
    The story ends satisfactorily on it's own terms and if it doesn't get a sequel, it at least deserves a hardback.
  12. Perfect-Organism
    I thought the ideas of hiding in various compartments by certain characters was 100% inspired by Isolation, and to very good effect.

    Spoiler (click to show/hide)

    I'm surprised more people aren't discussing this book.  Just awesome.

    *Added spoiler tags. Hicks.

    Thanks for that assist in putting up the spoiler alert Hicks.  I tried to do it but it did not go up right on the iPhone.  I guess I have to type in between the spoiler warnings rather than clicking spoiler before and after the spoilery text...
  13. SM
    Finished this off last night.

    Absolutely excellent. I think the difference between this and the other Alien novels I've read is that this wasn't just a good Alien book, it was a damn good book full-stop. Great ideas, great characters and great writing from Alex White. I mean good God, Dorian was the single most exquisitely hateful villain I can recall reading about in a book, and his gradual descent from sociopath to complete and utter madman was both well-done and engrossing. Blue was also by far the most interesting protagonist of any Alien novel I've read before; her disability and the limitations it placed upon her added so much to the story, and the way she lives her life by commandeering synthetics was likewise refreshingly new and interesting.

    Some superbly tense and scary sequences - in particular, Dorian hiding in the cupboard while another of the station's staff is attacked in front of him was heart-racing. I also really liked that the Aliens were almost incidental for a lot of the story - they were just kinda there doing their thing in the background, which was a refreshing change from the norm. Yet despite this, they lost none of their threat, menace and intelligence.

    If I had any criticisms at all, it's that I thought the very end was a bit of a disappointing cliché, although it did at least leave room for a follow-up, which I'd welcome. In the grand scheme though, it's such a minor quibble it pales in comparison to everything I loved about the book.

    Yeah, can't praise this enough.

    Also, is it just me, or did some elements of this feel like they were very obviously inspired by Isolation?

    Yeah.
    Spoiler (click to show/hide)
  14. HuDaFuK
    Finished this off last night.

    Absolutely excellent. I think the difference between this and the other Alien novels I've read is that this wasn't just a good Alien book, it was a damn good book full-stop. Great ideas, great characters and great writing from Alex White. I mean good God, Dorian was the single most exquisitely hateful villain I can recall reading about in a book, and his gradual descent from sociopath to complete and utter madman was both well-done and engrossing. Blue was also by far the most interesting protagonist of any Alien novel I've read before; her disability and the limitations it placed upon her added so much to the story, and the way she lives her life by commandeering synthetics was likewise refreshingly new and interesting.

    Some superbly tense and scary sequences - in particular, Dorian hiding in the cupboard while another of the station's staff is attacked in front of him was heart-racing. I also really liked that the Aliens were almost incidental for a lot of the story - they were just kinda there doing their thing in the background, which was a refreshing change from the norm. Yet despite this, they lost none of their threat, menace and intelligence.

    If I had any criticisms at all, it's that I thought the very end was a bit of a disappointing cliché, although it did at least leave room for a follow-up, which I'd welcome. In the grand scheme though, it's such a minor quibble it pales in comparison to everything I loved about the book.

    Yeah, can't praise this enough.

    Also, is it just me, or did some elements of this feel like they were very obviously inspired by Isolation?
  15. Perfect-Organism
    No.  It worked fine.  Great podcast BTW.  Thanks for that!  I find this book is making me read some of the interviews that Alex White did.  None of the other books really caused me to do that.  That says something.  I'm surprised more people are not discussing it here.

    I usually don't like stories that push the central story along, but this one worked so well jus in terms of how well it was written, and the character building, that it doesn't matter.  Of course this story could reconnect with Ripley's story assuming that A3 is retconned out of sequence.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
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