This weekend, Prometheus is set to hit theaters and the early buzz seems to be good. I’m more than a little excited to return to the world that H.R. Giger helped to create, and Titan Publishing sent me a couple of books to help the week go by a little faster.
The Book of Alien was first published and 1979 and Aliens Colonial Marines Technical Manual was published in 1995. The original books can be difficult to find (and expensive!), so if you missed them the first time, now is your chance to run to the book store and scoop them up.
The Book of Alien by Paul Scanlon and Michael Gross, is filled with stories and pictures from the production of the first groundbreaking film. There are plenty of concept drawings and sketches, set photos, and stories about how the movie went from concept to blockbuster.
Check out how the chest burster alien idea was based on a jack-in-the-box! And there’s just something about seeing marker renderings of the Nostromo that is super cool–no Photoshop mockups here! And seeing a photo of Sigourney Weaver testing out a flame thrower on a grassy lawn is pretty great.
Books that give a peek into the inner machinations of film making are a lot of fun, and this one is no exception. Unfortunately, the copy I received was a little flawed. I hope this only affected a small number of the books, but the quality control was lacking a bit, as several pages were duplicated and inaccurately bound into the book, and a few of the pages were incorrectly trimmed, almost cutting off the text. Not having an original copy to compare it with, maybe these errors appeared in the original printing and the publisher wanted to hold true to the original!
I would not let these minor flaws deter you from buying the book though. If you like to see concept drawings and production photos, then this Alien book deserves to be on your shelf.
The next book is quite a different beast altogether. The Aliens – Colonial Marines Technical Manual by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood, is exactly that, a “technical manual.” It reads like a training manual you would receive on day one of military boot camp. There’s no story here, but rather small instructional modules on how to use vehicles and weapons such as the M83A2 SADAR (Shoulder-launched Active-homing Disposable Anti-tank Rocket). The author does a stellar job at making the weaponry seem plausible by describing how they work in detail.
If you are a modeller or a cosplayer, this book has some invaluable blueprints you could use to build ships and weapons featured in the movie such as the P-5000 Power Loader.
You will enjoy picking this book up off the coffee table and glancing through the pages, but it will take someone with Ripley’s perseverance to read this one from cover to cover. It’s a bit dry, but if you are a die-hard Aliens fan, then don’t hesitate to add this one to your shelf.
Get a FREE copy!
I fully enjoyed reading both of these two books and now I want to pass them along to another Alien fan. Enter a comment below and your name will be added to the hat. Make sure to include your email address in the form so that I can contact you if you are selected at random on Monday June 11, 2012 (U.S. addresses only please!). UPDATE: The giveaway has ended and the books will be going to lucky number 7, the FijiMermaid.
Kevin Hellions says
Hey I’ll throw my name in for fun! I should do a giveaway on my site too.
C Raymond Pechonick says
Me to, I cant resist the chance at some alien books!
Brian is a super generous guy and has good taste too…did I win?
Nice try. 😉
Lamar the Revenger says
That facehugger still gives me nightmares. I can’t watch that scene but love those movies!
christopher tupa says
Can never have too many Alien books! Thanks for giving these away Brian!
Robert Lovely says
In the coming years we might need that Technical Manual! (;,;)
I love the Alien.
I remember buying both these books when they were first published, good memories.
Christopher Noon says
That Facehugger Sketch is amazing! (I never did understand how the Xenomorph Life Cycle was in any way feasible – too much left to chance)
It’s cool to see the Power Loader too, in what is essentially a military handbook.
Haven’t seen Ron Cobb and Moebius (RIP man!) ‘s work in Book of Alien and vaguely remember reading the wonderful Colonial Marines manual in the 90’s but would either would be an awesome score. You’re too kind to give away both…whoever wins would be pretty grateful.