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Alien Branches Into Young Adult Fiction with Alien: Echo

The Alien series is branching out into the Young Adult genre with the announcement of a new novel, Alien: Echo! To be published by Imprint, the 320 page long hardcover novel is being written by Mira Grant.

Olivia and her twin sister Viola have been dragged around the universe for as long as they can remember. Their parents, both xenobiologists, are always in high demand for their research into obscure alien biology.

Just settled on a new colony world, they discover an alien threat unlike anything they’ve ever seen. And suddenly the sisters’ world is ripped apart.

On the run from terrifying aliens, Olivia’s knowledge of xenobiology and determination to protect her sister are her only weapons as the colony collapses into chaos. But then a shocking family secret bursts open―one that’s as horrifying to Olivia as the aliens surrounding them.

The creatures infiltrate the rich wildlife on this virgin colony world―and quickly start adapting. Olivia’s going to have to adapt, too, if she’s going to survive…

 Alien Branches Into Young Adult Fiction with Alien: Echo

Grant has previously written in the Predator franchise, contributing the short Blood and Sand to the fantastic Predator: If It Bleeds! Alien: Echo is currently scheduled for release on April 9th, 2019 and is now available to pre-order from Amazon (US/UK). Thanks to felix for the heads-up.

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Comments: 54
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  1. Xiggz456
    After finishing James Moore’s “The Predator: Hunters and Hunted” the “About the Author” section mentions he wrote a Y.A. Series. This is an example of an “adult” author that has dabbled in Y.A. Just sayin this upcoming novel has the potential to still be an intense story assuming the author handles it well. It most likely won’t be gratuitously gory but I highly doubt that characters will be automatically safe either. Also this book isn’t being published by Titan so hopefully we’ll be getting a new novel from them as well.
  2. OpenMaw
    There's nothing wrong with kids watching R rated, or even just "scary" movies.

    My ex let her daughers watch Godzilla 2014, Cloverfield, The Exorcist, Alien, and Halloween.

    Kids love that shit.

    If you take away the R-Rated aspect of the Alien and Predator series and just look at the raw details, there's a lot there to exploit and market to kids. You have wonderful set pieces, cool monster designs, gadgets and gizmos. Ideal for playsets, figures, dress up.


    About the time I saw the first ALIEN (On TV, brought you by Tylenol.) I also saw the movie "Spaced Invaders" which is a fun little b-movie, in it the little girl is actually wearing a home-made Alien costume for Haloween. I loved that as a kid. I wanted one.
  3. The Cruentus
    I always found that odd really. Both Predator and Aliens had toys made and both movies were R-rated  :laugh:
    It is like these companies are actively expecting parents to let their children watch movies that they shouldn't watch so they sell some toys.
    I can't say too much on that matter as I watched horror films as child but that was due to my father, who found it funny to put on the scariest or goriest film he could find.  :laugh:
  4. Corporal Hicks
    It's a single book, guys. I'm sure many of us would have been all over this as teenagers. Just because it's less graphic or less sweary, doesn't equate to it becoming Twilight or something. It's not aimed at us, at the end of the day. Let the younger fans have something for them. Hopefully it's good.
  5. The Cruentus
    I would wager that many of us became fans as kids.

    But would we have become fans if the movie was a young adult type ala twilight?  :laugh:

    I'd expect (though I don't know) the Aliens audience to have a large amount of teenagers.  I saw Aliens when I was 13, which is the lower end for Young Adult.  And we are talking Young Adult; not children.
    True but the films they are watching is the full on mature ones we have, would the franchise have fans if it was toned down? its like that novelization of Aliens, all the swearing is gone.
    Obviously there may be some, since everyone's tastes are different.

    I might give this book a chance, since its not fair to judge it without reading it first.
  6. Wweyland
    More Alien books is a good thing.
    Getting older has made me more reluctant to violence, will be interesting how they try to go around that here.
    Some of the stuff in recent books has made me squirm - ie. a Predator using a whip with small blades with insect eggs that hatch in the wounds - WTF.
  7. The Old One
    Still the best chestburster in the series in terms of getting a "horrifying your audience reaction" to me, which is peculiar because I find much of the rest of the film to be quite safe with it's violence. More implication than what is shown.
    I think that choosing to omit the skeletons was a mistake though.
  8. Perfect-Organism
    You know what?  I'm big enough that I can say I judged a book by its cover.  I probably shouldn't have.  I am skeptical of the premise, but maybe the author did a good job of walking a fine line.  As I said, I haven't read it so what do I know?  All I can say is as a young adult, and even in entering my teenage years, I enjoyed Aliens as it was, dirty, gritty, dark & bloody. 
  9. SM
    It's one book - so far.  It's not a child-centric apocalypse of licensed content.  When Star Wars did books aimed a younger crowd, they didn't stop with the more mature stuff.

    I've read a couple of treatments for this.  Neither were remotely "sugar coated".
  10. Perfect-Organism
    Perhaps I was unduly harsh calling the work drivel.  I haven't read it so what do I know?  But the basic premise of taking the adult themes and somehow sugar-coating them for a younger audience doesn't sit well with me.

    I was 11 or 12 when I saw Aliens for the first time.  I started reading the comics with issue 2 of Aliens, so probably at 13 or 14.  Would I give these comics to my children (if I had them) at 12 or 13?  I'm not sure.  But I definitely felt they were the right fit for me as I was reading them back then.  It was the bleak, realistic, horror which I found appealing.  I can't speak for anyone else, but if those comics I read back then were toned down, with no chest bursting, hard-core violence, etc., I would have felt my intelligence insulted.

    I've seen some young-adult Star Wars books.  If this is what becomes of Aliens, I don't think it will attract teenagers, but it may alienate adults.
  11. 426Buddy
    I would wager that many of us became fans as kids.

    I know I've been interested in aliens since i was too young to really remember. I do remember getting my parents to buy Alien when I was 9 and had already been terrified by and in love with Aliens. I went on that movie ride with the Alien section  at disney land when I was 9. At that time my parents were already well aware of my immense interest in the series.
  12. SM
    I'd expect (though I don't know) the Aliens audience to have a large amount of teenagers.  I saw Aliens when I was 13, which is the lower end for Young Adult.  And we are talking Young Adult; not children.
  13. Perfect-Organism
    This is my opinion only, but I personally prefer the Aliens franchise to be of a more mature nature, geared towards adults.  I mentioned this before, elsewhere, that I consider the Aliens film to be a sort of adult fairy tale, sort of like Pan's Labyrinth.  Yes, it is the story of a child, but it is not a story for children.  When I was in grade 7, it was precocious of me to read the Aliens comics, and my parents never saw what was in them.  I wouldn't let them.  I liked that feeling that I was reading something more mature that wasn't patronizing me, or trying to turn it into a junior subject.  As an adult, I feel less geeky about my Aliens books on my bookshelf because there is a certain maturity there.  They're not children's comics or stories like Avengers or Spider-Man.

    Taking these mature subjects, and turning them into something that engages a younger audience will inevitably whitewash much of the horror of this series to make it palatable to younger viewers.  This is a trend, that from my perspective as an adult who enjoys the series for its adult nature, does not bode well for the series.  The disturbing horror of the series is at its core.  When you take it out, what is left?

    I have spent 20 years designing toys, and I understand the logic of what is happening.  There is an incentive to make the Aliens brand accessible to a younger crowd.  There are millions to be made there selling toys, gadgets and all sorts of goodies.  I am not privy to your demographic research, but would expect the Alien fan base to be consistently adults, and as a consumer, I would hope it remains so, and perhaps from an ethical perspective, it should remain an adults-only property.  If young adults or teens are to access this material, it should be because they are mature enough to want to read adult material, not because they are fed drivel without essence.
  14. SM
    It's primarily to do with who the protagonists are and dialling down the explicit language and gore (I believe).  Obviously there is still violence, but you're unlikely to get as descriptive as White gets in Cold Forge in a passage about the vivisection of a chimp.

  15. Wysps
    I haven't read an Alien-centric novel before, but I think I might actually pick this one up merely out of curiosity.  I'm interested to see how they present this as a "young adult book".
  16. SM
    Quote
    Are you intentionally missing the point SM?

    Were you intentionally being vague?

    Since you've actually explained what you meant now - thank you - I guess, yes?

    I'm not sure why it doesn't bode well though.
  17. Perfect-Organism
    Are you intentionally missing the point SM?  There is a difference between a young adult topic and a young adult presentation.  A young adult topic may be handled in a way which should be for mature adults like the first Aliens series from DH.  There were no holds barred, but it was a story of a young lady turning into an adult.

    Conversely there is a way to present a topic in a young adult way, such as the first AVP film, where it wasn't a story about young adults but it was presented in a young adult fashion, avoiding excessive blood, gore, etc.  Effectively PG13.
  18. SM
    I read the first Aliens comic series circa 1988 when I was in grade 8.  Those were not young adult, and yet they dealt with young adult topics if you think about it, in a twisted way.  Anyway, I turned out fine I think.  Not sure what the point of this is, but it does not bode well..

    So - 'those books that dealt with young adult topics turned okay - but this young adult book doesn't sound any good'...?

    The point is to tell different kinds of stories to draw in different demographics.
  19. Perfect-Organism
    I read the first Aliens comic series circa 1988 when I was in grade 8.  Those were not young adult, and yet they dealt with young adult topics if you think about it, in a twisted way.  Anyway, I turned out fine I think.  Not sure what the point of this is, but it does not bode well..
  20. Xiggz456
    Interesting! I’ll certainly be giving this a read. I’ve read some of the Star Wars young adult novels some good some meh. At the end of the day it just depends on the author. We’ve never really seen a teenager protagonist face off against the Xenomorphs so at least that’s something different. (Edit: except AVPR but....)
  21. The Old One
    Almost all of them. It's "Aliens attack space ship" or "Aliens attack colony". Where the hell else are they going to find people in space?

    C'mon, you can be more creative than that.
    Dead Space 3 has a mysteriously abandoned flotilla, frozen moon, underground labs, alien city and there's the still as yet unused wooden monastery idea you could make a variation on.

    Stating the obvious but there's only the limit of your imagination. There's also all the elements that are established in the Alien universe other than the creature itself that could be explored, with the Alien as an element rather than entire focus like in The Cold Forge. I can only hope there's more to this book than the synopsis is letting on.
  22. The Cruentus
    While it may not necessarily be a bad thing as gore isn't everything, I don't see the point in making a toned down version. Alien and Predator was meant for adults and it should stay that way, I mean look at AVP, out of its many faults one of them (to some) was that it was pg13, Alien and Predator come from an R rated background and a lot of the kills are horrific, taking them away from their elements doesn't really work.

    Also, why specifically aim it at young adults? The only thing that springs to mind is that its going to contain some cheesy horrible romance arc.  :laugh:
  23. Corporal Hicks
    I would have been all over this in my early AvPWorld days! I know I'm not really the target audience for this but I'll have to give it a go anyway. Always eager to see more Alien stories and if this helps younger fans, that's all fine by me!
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