Where was Earth?
This was not their galaxy. A strange sun lit the sky with orange rays. In their long cold sleep, the seven space travellers had left their own universe behind, and now their monitor told them that on the planet revolving below them, someone was signalling for help. By space law, they must descend, explore, and render assistance.
But they would carry weapons. For who could tell what being called to them — or why. All they knew was that it was Alien.
The thing looked like the hand of a skeleton with many fingers curled into the palm. Something like a short tube protruded from the palm and something like a tail was coiled beneath the base of the hand. There, on the back, was a dim, convex shape like a glazed over eye. Disgusting! But if that was an eye and not some slimy excrescence... he moved closer to take a look. And the eye moved; it stared right back at him.
Then, the ovoid sprang at him, exploded at him with the energy contained in that coiled tail. He raised an arm to protect himself. Too late! The thing's fingers gripped his faceplate. The weaving tube in the palm's center was stroking the glass. It started to sizzle. The faceplate was dissolving! The creature was through the plate. Must get it off! It was pushing at his mouth, tight around skull, tube down throat, can't breathe...
Differences from the FilmEdit
- The Pilot is omitted from the novel.
- The design of the Facehugger (referred to in the novel as the "alien hand") is different to the theatrical films. In the novel it is grey in colour with a single bulging eye on its back, whereas in the films they are a pale yellow and have no eyes.
- Ripley discovers the cocooned bodies of Dallas and Brett during her escape from the Nostromo, and it is implied they are being transformed by the Alien into new Eggs. This sequence was actually filmed for Alien but was cut late in production. It was later partially reinstated for the 2003 Director's Cut of the film.
- ISBN 0-446-32878-2; First printing: [June] , Second printing: [June] , Warner Books, Inc., paperback, 270 pages