Day 16 of #scrypthalloween looks at my short story ALIEN ENCOUNTERS. The cover photo is a known public domain work that I had some fun editing. It’s connected to one of the biggest alien conspiracies of all time, which is perfect for representing what’s in the pages….
official description: A phone call from a friend leaves you frantic. He claimed to have uncovered a conspiracy that could get him killed. His final words were, “I’ve seen them. We aren’t alone,” right before the line went dead. Whoever intercepted the call may now have you in their sight. Delve deeper into the mysteries established in the novel “Planet ATE”.
Alien Encounters is available in print at lulu.com. On Amazon in digital as well as Barnes and Noble as part of the Beyond Human Trilogy print edition
The Alien franchise has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid. Each installment has me on the edge of my seat waiting for release. Well I finally got to sit down and watch Alien: Covenant, and found it to be familiar, yet refreshing.
Slight Spoilers ahead…
At first I found myself confused thinking that they wouldn’t even touch on the events in Prometheus, but thankfully they wrapped up that story fairly well, and in a shocking way. It explains a lot for the rest of the series.
The twist with David and Walter at the end however was slightly predictable. I saw it coming a mile away. The whole premise to the crew going to the planet that Prometheus had been on was a little far fetched. You would think for a technologically advanced crew of astronauts, that there’d be some sort of record of what happened to the crew of Prometheus or at least where they were going. There were also a few places where the CGI seemed off to me, but not terrible. I’m just used to the original films where the effects were all practical.
That was the only real faults I found with the movie. On the positive side, Michael Fassbender is becoming one of my favorite actors. His dual roles in this movie were spectacular, and Katherine Waterson’s female lead was as likeable as Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley.
The high points for me were the explanation of where the Aliens came from and how they were engineered. They aren’t yet the species we meet in the first Alien movie. They are something else, but by the end of the movie we see where it is going to lead. I’ll admit that the white colored alien was downright eerie to see. It gave me the creeps.
One thing that I really like is that this is definitely NOT the movie that takes place right before Alien. There obviously has to be another film to explain more. While it answered quite a few questions, it opened the door for more lore. I still would like to see one more adventure for Ellen Ripley, but if I can’t get that this is just as good.
Overall I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. It’s be no means a spectacular film, but has an important place in the franchise. It was fun, and you could feel the mortality of the characters involved. What did you think of Alien Covenant?
I can’t say I’m a hardcore science fiction fan, but there are some franchises that I have the utmost respect for when it comes to space exploration. Those are what inspired me to write my novel DEVOURED UNIVERSE, and its spinoff short COSMIC ORBITS.
When I say I can’t stand Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY, I mean it. It was a horrifically slow movie that didn’t do the book justice at all. Arthur C. Clark’s novel was much more entertaining, and holds a top place in my list of epic science fiction in space. It had 3 sequel books: 2010 ODYSSEY TWO, 2061 ODYSSEY THREE, and 3001 THE FINAL ODYSSEY. Although outdated in terms of mention of year, it isn’t as far fetched as it seems. If you’re a fan of the movie (or not) then I recommend checking out the books because they are much better. The unlimited potential of outer space is depicted in a way that really makes you want to know what is out there.
Next up is the ALIEN franchise. Sure, there are countless books and comics based on the series, but I’m referencing the main films. ALIEN, ALIENS, ALIEN 3, & ALIEN: RESURRECTION fell victim to the sequel not being as good as the preceding entry, but that said, they are still fantastic movies. I would count the two ALIEN vs PREDATOR movies, but since that includes the PREDATOR franchise I’ll refrain (Predator is also a series I love, but that’s going off on another). The prequel movie PROMETHEUS is getting a follow up called ALIEN COVENANT. So far so good with those. What makes these movies great isn’t the characters as much as it is the threat of such a frightening alien.
A series that has fans always in anticipation of the next release is STAR WARS. In all honesty I love the main films, but the spinoff series, cartoons, and books never grabbed my interest. Let’s face it… what makes this franchise great is the heart of the story. Don’t hate me fanboys and girls… I’m just seeing it from a writing perspective. The core here is good vs evil.. There really is no in between in this saga, but that’s what makes it so good. Each chapter holds its own, even though the prequels were widely hated by fans. They really aren’t bad when it comes down to it. We’ve got a handful of them: THE PHANTOM MENACE, ATTACK OF THE CLONES, REVENGE OF THE SITH, A NEW HOPE, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, RETURN OF THE JEDI, THE FORCE AWAKENS, and episode 8 and 9 coming as well as some crucial backstory starting with ROGUE ONE. Since Disney has taken over it seems to be headed in the right direction, and will hopefully expand to include a simpler, yet less two dimensional narrative.
The other fan eager series is STAR TREK. We’ve got The ORIGNAL SERIES, THE NEXT GENERATION, DEEP SPACE NINE, VOYAGER, ENTERPRISE, and the new series DISCOVERY. Like Wars, Trek’s spinoff novels and comics do nothing for me, but the movies have been hit or miss. THE MOTION PICTURE, THE WRATH OF KAHN, THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK, THE VOYAGE HOME, THE FINAL FRONTIER, THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY, GENERATIONS, FIRST CONTACT, INSURRECTION, NEMESIS, STAR TREK, INTO DARKNESS, and BEYOND all have a way of telling a much broader story. Trek has a way of displaying how vast the universe is, and how each different race perceives and handles events.
My goal was to incorporate what was best about all of these: The vastness of the universe, a frightening alien threat, characters that are cared about, and various stances on how things should be handled. DEVOURED UNIVERSE really utilizes these to tell a fresh new type of story that closes out a trilogy and sets way for a future cast to deal with something beyond.
So what are some of your favorite space related or alien movies, films, TV, drinks, food, games, etc etc? Make sure to hashtag #scrypthalloween and you may win a copy of one of my novels.
DEVOURED UNIVERSE is my first novel that goes beyond what we know on Earth. It takes the reader to the farthest reaches of the universe and puts the laws of physics to the test. As it wraps up one character’s adventures, it opens the door for a new cast. It’s all about getting past differences and uniting for survival of all races human and alien.
Beyond the farthest reaches of the universe lies a threat to the very existence of reality. When Earth receives a signal from deep space, they must embark on a dangerous mission into the unknown. Gordon Lightcap returns to duty after a brief retirement. He will have to use what he has learned to bring together a mismatched group of astronauts, and discover the secrets to existence. Only then will they be able to prevent the annihilation of everything, but at what cost?
What are some of your favorite alien related things? Make sure to hashtag #scrypthalloween and you could win a copy of DEVOURED UNIVERSE or one of my other novels. All of my books are available at Lulu.com in print, and on Amazon in digital.
Ah, where do I begin? Ridley Scott promised us answers with Prometheus. He delivered. What he failed to tell us was that a whole new batch of questions have come about. If you don’t want to know any spoilers, then you should probably scroll down to the last paragraph now. Otherwise, spoilers will be discussed.
First off, let’s talk about what this movie does to the existing universe of movies. Because of the revelation of where the xenomorphs from the Alien movies originate, this story discredits both Alien Vs Predator movies. Not that they were really considered canon, but they take place in modern day, whereas Prometheus takes place in 2092. Of course this could be explained further in another Prometheus movie as to it happening before. This also makes Alien Ressurection a much better movie. The thought of the crossbred human/xenomorph was considered ridiculous by some, but now it would make more sense.
Another thing this movie does is really bring an origin to Alien. This planet is obviously the planet that Ellen Ripley visits with her crew in Alien. It also would explain a lot more about what happened, and we see a dead engineer in a chair.
Some people might be confused by the genetics questions. Here is a little cheat sheet I came up with: Engineers created the black ooze as a biological warfare weapon. Engineers + Ooze = human; Human + ooze = giant squid thing; Giant squid thing + Engineer = Alien xenomorph; Xenomorph + Human = hybrid from Alien Ressurection.
That being said I have drawn a conclusion. The squid thing, when it first came out, made me think of the face hugger from the Alien movies. In Alien 1, the face hugger hatches from an egg, which starts it all. Perhaps the squid thing laid the egg before these events.
What about the Weylands? Take into account that Alien vs Predator happened. Charles Bishop Weyland was in that movie as a human, and it is indicated that the android “Bishop” from the Alien movies was designed on his likeness. That would give some credibility to the events in AVP then. Confused? It gets even worse. We have to assume that Peter Weyland (Guy Pierce) in Prometheus is a descendant of Charles Weyland. Since we know the fate of Bishop in the movies, then we have to ask about David’s (Michael Fassbender) fate. He and Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) are seen flying to the Engineer’s homeworld in the end. What happens to them? This needs to be explained in another movie, or else what is the point?
Why did the Engineer commit suicide to create us in the beginning of the movie? This is not explained, but what we can conclude is that they were dying as a race, and knew that to preserve their own legacy, they could create a new race of beings (human) on Earth.
So, if they created us, then why would they be planning to destroy us with the black ooze? This is another moment where we have to wait for a potential sequel in the hopes of an answer. In the same vein, why would the last Engineer try to kill us? It is unclear as there are no subtitles as to what David says to the Engineer that makes him go berzerk. By doing a little research online, I found a quote by Dr. Anil Biltoo, of the language center in London. He claims that the language is based on a proto-Indo European dialect.
In Prometheus, David says: /ida hman?m a? kja nam?tuh zd?:taha/…/gh??vah-pjorn-?ttham sas da:t? kredah/
The serviceable translation to this is: ‘This man is here because he does not want to die. He believes you can give him more life’.
Okay, so I gathered that the Engineer became angry at this statement. Why? Humans were created by the Engineers. They gave us life, and yet we ask for more. Even worse is that we get our own creation (The android David) to ask for us, instead of doing it ourselves. To the Engineer, this could be like a slap in the face. It would be equivelant to us asking God for immortality.
Since I mentioned God, would extremely Religious people be pissed off about this movie? Possibly, but they shouldn’t because Elizabeth Shaw has a moment where she is speaking about the crucifix she wears around her neck. She is asked why she would still believe in God if they discovered otherwise. Her response is the simple statement, “Well someone created the Engineers.”
One more issue I had was that the guy with the mohawk who owned the mapping orbs, was unable to make it back to the ship because he got lost. It really makes no sense at all for this to happen.
In the end, what is my overall review of this movie? I need more. Sure, I’d welcome Alien 5 or even another AVP movie, but we NEED Prometheus 2. There were just too many plot holes to leave it be. Ridley Scott claims that he designed it as a two parter prequel, so hopefully it is in the works. All in all, it was a really fun and interesting movie, that I give a 7 out of 10.