Author Topic: Alien: The Cold Forge - Titan Books  (Read 54227 times)


Perfect-Organism
May 22, 2018, 11:22:00 AM
Reply #241 on: May 22, 2018, 11:22:00 AM
Q
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.


HuDaFuK
May 24, 2018, 09:55:09 AM
Reply #242 on: May 24, 2018, 09:55:09 AM
Q
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?


The Cruentus
May 24, 2018, 10:26:33 AM
Reply #243 on: May 24, 2018, 10:26:33 AM
Q
I think Alex did say something about Isolation in the podcast I believe.


HuDaFuK
May 24, 2018, 11:41:23 AM
Reply #244 on: May 24, 2018, 11:41:23 AM
Q
Yeah, I'm looking forward to giving that a listen when I get the chance! Was holding off until I finished the book.


SM
May 24, 2018, 12:02:04 PM
Reply #245 on: May 24, 2018, 12:02:04 PM
Q
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)


Perfect-Organism
May 24, 2018, 12:53:41 PM
Reply #246 on: May 24, 2018, 12:53:41 PM
Q
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...

« Last Edit: May 24, 2018, 02:17:20 PM by Perfect-Organism »

The Old One
May 27, 2018, 05:54:55 PM
Reply #247 on: May 27, 2018, 05:54:55 PM
Q
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.


HybridNewborn
May 27, 2018, 06:40:48 PM
Reply #248 on: May 27, 2018, 06:40:48 PM
Q
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.



Xenomrph
May 29, 2018, 03:52:26 AM
Reply #250 on: May 29, 2018, 03:52:26 AM
Q
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.


Perfect-Organism
May 29, 2018, 10:36:13 AM
Reply #251 on: May 29, 2018, 10:36:13 AM
Q
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.


SM
May 29, 2018, 08:48:22 PM
Reply #252 on: May 29, 2018, 08:48:22 PM
Q
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.


Perfect-Organism
May 29, 2018, 09:13:45 PM
Reply #253 on: May 29, 2018, 09:13:45 PM
Q
I haven't read the series in ages.  I don't own any copies of A3 comics anymore, and am disappointed they were never compiled into a single volume.  My recollection is that they were superb.


Whiskeybrewer
May 30, 2018, 10:49:23 AM
Reply #254 on: May 30, 2018, 10:49:23 AM
Q
I always liked the A3 comics. Those covers were great and the alternate scenes threw me so much lol


 

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