Hello, all. Has it been almost two years since my last post? I didn’t intend for that, and I assure you all that I haven’t been sitting back and relaxing all this time. So, what’s what at Strange Shapes? Are we defunct, on hiatus, etc?
No–in fact, I might be busier than ever with all things Alien. For the last two years my research and findings have gone exclusively into a document that, I hope, will finally manifest itself as Strange Shapes: The Making of Alien, a book exploring everything Alien (1979). There’s not a great deal I can say about it right now, except this: I have conducted interviews with the film’s crew wherever I could (that is, with whoever would talk to me), scoured libraries for books and the internet for articles and magazines, haggled with collectors and spent many a morning, noon and night typing and editing away. If I had to say anything about it now, it’s that the book, even in its current incomplete shape, blows the blog out of the water. No contest. So far, I have written 253 pages, 115,000+ words, and counting.
So on to the next issue here: when can you all read it? Alien’s 40th birthday would have been a great occasion to release it to you all, but I simply couldn’t finish it in time due to personal circumstances. For one, since 2016 I have been my daughter’s full-time carer, taking time away from my own extra-curricular activities (no real complaint from me, here). And then, some months ago, her disability allowance and my carer’s payments were erroneously stopped, forcing us to survive on my paltry savings and, with them now exhausted, I am somewhat on the wire. As I type, I have no internet at home, and may very well lose my house within the next couple of months if the situation does not improve. Which makes it very difficult to write!
And some will ask, how will I bring it to you? I had some discussions last year with publishers, but the dearth of new content from far more experienced writers than myself has thrown any chance at being published for a loop. So, for now, I cannot truly answer the question of how Strange Shapes will make its way to a bookshop.
Still, the work continues, and Strange Shapes (the book) continues to gain weight and heft. Some selected people have already read an extract containing some 75,000 words, and feedback is making its way back to me, all to make the book something better than it already is. Now, I know there is already a dearth of tomes out there promising to be the final, definitive or absolute word on Alien. So this needs to be something special to be worth your time. Something with all the elbow grease I can muster. Something that will make the best of nine years(!) of this blog. Or else, what’s the point? Well, without coming across as egotistical, I do think Strange Shapes will offer readers something unique, including information about Alien that has not been explored or touched upon anywhere else. Of course, that’s no good to anyone s’long as it sits here on my computer. So I will continue to work whenever (and however) I can to bring it closer to being in your hands.
In the meantime, please hold on a little longer. There is more coming, despite the silence on my end. Hopefully, this post will leave everyone a little more clued in to what’s happening. I’m not dead (though somewhat starved) and I’m certainly not done. Maybe in a year or two from this point I’ll be laughing at my former troubles and you will all be sitting down with a good tome to read.
And of course, this year will see the release of all sorts of Alien media: books, documentaries and retrospectives will be flooding the stores and internet this year, so the fanbase will not go hungry!