Book Review 138 // Blowback by Christopher Golden

Can't stop a good xenomorph week, this week I am continuing the run of Aliens with a short story titled: Blowback. Blowback is a 2017 short story written by Christopher Golden and was published by Titan Books as part of the anthology Aliens: Bug Hunt. 

This is basically a prequel to Aliens film. Showcasing a lot of the colonial marines who would later go on to LV-426. The full squad lineup is, Apone, Stenbeck, Hicks, Hudson, Vasquez, Frost, Wierzbowski, Crowe, Zeller, Lieutenant Emma Paulson and new recruit Private Malinka. They are given a "Bug Hunt" mission, meaning they are to descend to a moon and kill some hostile fauna that has been killing off Weyland-Yutani scientists. As you read the start of the story, you can't help but think this is going to involve xenomorphs (even though in the film they hadn't heard of them). If you felt this way you are wrong. No xenomorphs in this story! But plenty of Xenos...

The setting is grim as the world is hostile to humans, and the marines are forced to wear environmental suits. It soon gets grimmer as they discover the lost scientists and the creatures responsible! They are strange, super fragile, kite-shaped creatures, that attack from the skies by riding the poisonous gas winds that sweep across the moon. Unfortunately for the team, they discover another problem, the damn creatures are explosive! Forced to use combat knives to escape the team regroup and get told by the Company that a living sample is needed for experimentation. Leaving the mangled team no option but to go back out.

Damn this is a dark story. We see a few characters killed off, before discovering the truth and once again, how the company doesn't care about the lives of those aiding them. A great prequel, explaining why the term, Bug Hunt is used in the film. I really enjoy these stories that are xenomorph light, as it really builds out the universe.

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