Augmented Reality Alien Survival Manual by Owen Williams (book review).

This is the first time I’ve come across an augmented book. It gives you access to an App that you can put in your mobile phone so you can try out various scenarios. As the title of this book by Owen Williams is called ‘Augmented Reality Alien Survival Manual’, it might be easier to watch the clip above as to what to expect from that aspect. As I haven’t owned a mobile phone in a dozen years now, you’ll have to try this out for yourself. More so, if you want to join the Marine Corps and kill some xenomorph ass. Oooh! I feel aggressive already.

The book is divided into two sections. The first covers the six ‘Alien’ films and is probably the first book to cover ‘Prometheus’ and ‘Alien: Covenant’ in context to the other four. As the text is done within the reality, no mention is given how the information is obtained. Considering how sneaky Weyland-Yutani is, you would have thought they would have had hidden surveillance equipment that would have flashed home information periodically.

When it comes to information about the Nostromo, I did have to wonder where Williams got the first names of the crew. Looking at them, it’s no wonder they preferred to call each other by their surnames. Oddly, the characters from the first film are the only ones given in their entirety and only a sprinkling from the rest and not necessarily all the significant ones or all their Christian names, oddly omitting Annalee Call’s, who of all the synthetics is the only one to have one. Fair enough that there might not have been enough space or rather the number of comparable pages but on page 109 where Francis Aaron is given Hudson’s biography should have been picked up at the editing stage. The original Bishop noted in the biographies being confused with the photo of the remains of a dead synthetic version being kept away from the public eye is just plain confusing.

There is some discussion on how the adult xenomorphs see and there’s a certain lack of research that there are eyes behind the caprice covering its head. They are revealed in the Newborn from ‘Alien: Resurrection’ but they tend to be the most vulnerable part of any species. Having them covered is probably the best protection.

I should also point out that there are a lot of photos sprinkled throughout the book, including some drawings by David from ‘Alien: Covenant’.

The orders for the Colonial Marines is to kill any form of these xenomorphs and those infected with extreme prejudice, clearly seeing the time period after ‘Alien: Resurrection.’ Without Weyland-Yutani wanting to do research on these aliens, it has finally sunk in that if mankind is to survive then no quarter should be given.

Don’t get contaminated, be ready to fight. Survival is not optional. You have no other choice.

GF Willmetts

December 2017

(pub: Carlton Books/Goodman Books. 160 page illustrated large hardback. Price: £25.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78739-004-1)

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