Aliens V. Predator Ultimate Prey - AvP Anthology

Started by BryanThomasS, Jan 07, 2021, 08:18:28 PM

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Aliens V. Predator Ultimate Prey - AvP Anthology (Read 31,505 times)

Corporal Hicks

Corporal Hicks

#255
I finished Homestead and Hotel Mariposa last night. I really enjoyed both of these. I loved the horror aspect of Homestead. I think Dawson really handled it well, and infused some fantastic tension into it. It was very much like a fevor dream, where not everything had to be dealt with overtly. It worked so damn well to say

Spoiler
the actual Aliens and Predators weren't in it that much. The presence of the horse-hybrid was cool, without it being highlighted as such. The only thing I was never sure on was the eggbarfing stuff. But the anthology was supposed to be leaning more into the AvP movie side of things so it was there. But again, it wasn't particularly a focus. It was just the one line alluding to it.
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I was glad to see I thoroughly enjoyed Hotel Mariposa. Like I said before, the whole crux of that working was something I was in love with when I first heard of it. It's not your typical AvP - and I think Homestead isn't either - and I love to see places like the anthologies experiment with doing different things with the franchise and it worked so well in here IMHO.

Only thing I wasn't too keen on was the whole
Spoiler
his mother seemingly being outcast for being drunk = cowardly.
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Or at least, that was my takeaway from that.

Edit: So it was
Spoiler
depression really, not drunk.
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I read Planting and Harvest yesterday. Another solid one, and was glad to see Seanan McGuire back. Really enjoyed the "f**k-the-world" feel to the early parts of the short. I thought the actual world-building, for both the humans and Predators, was pretty interesting. Love the idea of
Spoiler
this ship just on the prowl doing all the shitty job because they're not quite good enough
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. The actual action was a little thin on the ground, but I found all the other elements too entertaining to really complain about that.

Still Collating...

I found her story very disappointing cause I had higher hopes knowing how much I liked her novel. The world building was really great, but the lack of actual action and its poor portrayal was really shocking. Also the scene changes feel a bit choppy and sudden to me. 

Corporal Hicks

There's plenty of that to the other shorts so far, so I didn't feel overly starved tbh.

HuDaFuK

Read Planting and Harvest today. Actually think I liked this almost as much as Mariposa. Just really well written, and I dug the black comedy regarding people dying as a result of the seemingly innocuous work they were doing on the station :laugh: I guess the complaints about the more subdued action are fair, but personally I feel like we've had a whole load of action-packed AVP stories, so I didn't mind this one downplaying that aspect.

Marc505

I agree with much of the above, sometimes quite low key or downplayed action now and again in these stories works well for me.

What I'm finding if I read 2 or 3 AvP shorts from different authors in one sitting is that there's only so many ways you can describe a first encounter with one of the creatures, or a battle between them, before it starts to lose its effect so any variation on the theme is great.

I'm up to First Hunt now which I'm looking forward to, but I'm also already looking forward to going back and reading through everything again when I finish the book which shows they all have something good and interesting to offer.

Still Collating...

Quote from: HuDaFuK on Mar 10, 2022, 03:53:54 PM
Read Planting and Harvest today. Actually think I liked this almost as much as Mariposa. Just really well written, and I dug the black comedy regarding people dying as a result of the seemingly innocuous work they were doing on the station :laugh: I guess the complaints about the more subdued action are fair, but personally I feel like we've had a whole load of action-packed AVP stories, so I didn't mind this one downplaying that aspect.

The world building was great but it felt like the story ended too fast, out of nowhere. And from her previous novel, I know she can write some good action, but literally skipping it the moment I thought things are about to get chaotic was quite a punch to the face. The reason I'm complaining about this is that the action was very poor IMO in most if the stories. Not described well and the aliens are shown to be a bit weak. I don't feel like the preds deserved all those wins. IMO the action was memorable in about 3 stories. Maybe it's not even the lack of well written action but the problem when a story introduces the action or sets it up but doesn't pay off like in Planting and Harvest.

I read all the stories and I have mixed feelings about this. Overall I really enjoyed it, but a few details really annoyed me. Beware of spoilers cause I'm talking about the whole book.

Spoiler
Can't believe not one alien won against the predators in a single story and that so many of the predators survived. I think even the AVP movies made a more fair fight than that. Sometimes I loved the creative story settings, sometimes they felt really forced in. Like the author wanted to tell a different story but sprinkled some AVP on the surface so it fits the anthology. Still, some really worked for me like the activist/journalist one where they were trying to uncover a WY coverup.

I really didn't appreciate most of the present day stories. Just feels off. Scotts story was great, but it became a bit too easy for the gang to destroy the aliens. In Phalanx you feel the fear that these creatures created for the people. But a pred that never hunted aliens ever was destroying them with no problem. Only two Praetorians/Hive Guards are a problem and they're killed in a few seconds! The predator didn't use this story's OP plasma caster on the Queen just for the sake of a challenge. And after loosing so much blood (again stated, not shown in hard fights much) I thought we're finally gonna have a main predator that dies, but no... So yeah, that annoyed me. Scott still writes great stories and characters but he wasn't really fair to the alien side and therefore the story felt like it didn't have any real stakes or tension.

And no predalien, not a single one! Come on....

Some stories were a bit too predictable. More than the previous two anthologies.
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Still. almost all of the stories had memorable settings. To me, there were hit and misses, but I applaud the effort. I really appreciate the bravery and creative freedom to try new things. This is an overall win. I wish that next time in addition to the new settings (just no more present day avp please) they try new core narratives and new story conclusions. Soon I might write in more detail to highlight what specific stories I really liked.

Xiggz456

Just finished! Such a fun variety of stories here. Bryan Thomas Schmidt once again knocked it out the park and Jonathan Maberry redeemed himself after BugHunt.

I absolutely loved both the variety of settings and timeframes of said settings. Which made me thankful that there's more than one timeline that allows there to be stories where Xenos aren't a recent creation but something much older.

The last two entries were probably my favorite and were both sequels (to Phalanx and Predators) but all the stories were worth multiple reads. All in all I'd give this a 9/10 and would strongly recommend!

BlueMarsalis79

Thank you for posting that spoiler Still Collating, now I know to skip this.

Still Collating...

No problem. I don't regret reading the stories, but when I think what I like about the franchises, there were missed opportunities. This anthology is far from bad, quite the opposite, but the contrivances were too much for me to ignore. I liked the stories in the separate anthologies more. Still, anthologies of short stories are a great idea for the EU and I welcome more future attempts.

BlueMarsalis79

Yeah just does not sound for me to be candid.

HuDaFuK

Currently reading Blood and Honor and I've actually felt the need to come on here and point out how much it's disappointing me. I thought it started really well but the longer it goes on the more I'm hating it. It's reminding me of the worst of the DH Press Alien books with how it's missing the mark on the titular creatures and the increasingly cringey dialogue. In fact the drop-off in quality from start to end almost gives me the impression whoever was responsible for tidying up the first draft ran out of time to do so.

EJA

Do any of the stories utilize what was established in Prometheus and Alien: Covenant?

RidgeTop

RidgeTop

#267
Quote from: EJA on Mar 14, 2022, 09:17:52 PM
Do any of the stories utilize what was established in Prometheus and Alien: Covenant?

Not really. Two of them were going to go with more black goo elements but we advised against it given the continuity was set to the AVP movie universe. But even those didn't really get into the lore of the prequels too much, just used their elements.

Night Doctors kept a little with its reference of...

Spoiler
Plagiarus Praepotens. Which is linked to the black goo.
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Xiggz456

Quote from: RidgeTop on Mar 15, 2022, 06:17:50 AM
Quote from: EJA on Mar 14, 2022, 09:17:52 PM
Do any of the stories utilize what was established in Prometheus and Alien: Covenant?

Not really. Two of them were going to go with more black goo elements but we advised against it given the continuity was set to the AVP movie universe. But even those didn't really get into the lore of the prequels too much, just used their elements.

Night Doctors kept a little with its reference of...

Spoiler
Plagiarus Praepotens. Which is linked to the black goo.
[close]

Also one of the stories mentions LV-223

Corporal Hicks

Quote from: HuDaFuK on Mar 13, 2022, 06:14:58 PM
Currently reading Blood and Honor and I've actually felt the need to come on here and point out how much it's disappointing me. I thought it started really well but the longer it goes on the more I'm hating it. It's reminding me of the worst of the DH Press Alien books with how it's missing the mark on the titular creatures and the increasingly cringey dialogue. In fact the drop-off in quality from start to end almost gives me the impression whoever was responsible for tidying up the first draft ran out of time to do so.

Just returned to Ultimate Prey after re-reading Turnabout/Rematch for a recording tonight. Literally just finished Blood and Honor too. Not much to say on this one. Wasn't a fan. Felt like a new fan trying to write fanfiction, overly relying on Xenopedia for terminology and etc. Also felt like the author was trying to do too much within a short story which contributed to that fanfiction feel. Really didn't like the nicknames given to the Predators. Didn't feel fluid at all.

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