Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Alien Vault: The Definitive Story Behind the Film Hardcover – September 1, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
Hardcover, September 1, 2011
$349.05 $55.08

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews


'An impeccably researched, beautifully written and lavishly illustrated romp through the Ripleyverse. Will enliven your next viewing of the film tenfold. Indispensable stuff.' Five stars ***** Empire 'Giving the 1979 film the treatment it deserves, this lavish backstage pass is a tribute, a celebration and a must-have collectors' item for anyone loving the alien.' Five stars ***** Total Film 'Highlights include Ridley Scott's original storyboards and HR Giger's designs for the xenomorph, yet it's the high-quality photos of the Space Jockey construction and other iconic imagery that really make it a worthwhile package. The actual text is nice array of behind-the-scenes stuff, covering all the key points you'd expect with just the right amount of detail' **** Four stars SciFi Now 'The stuff of fan's dreams' - BOOKS OF THE YEAR Independent on Sunday 'A fantastic coffee table book. This is a proper book that is almost a work of art in itself...a magnificent record of a classic film.' Scifilondon.com 'An exhaustive tome fit for any film lover's coffee table. Four stars ****' Cultbox.co.uk 'Worthy testament to the classic film's talented creators... a must have book. 9 / 10' Starwarsaficionado.com 'All in all a simply gorgeous book full of gorgeous words and gorgeous photos. Buy it, put it on your bookshelf' 10/10 Starburstmagazine.co.uk

About the Author

Ian Nathan, who lives and works in London, has been a film writer, producer, broadcaster and magazine editor for twenty years. As executive editor of Empire, the world's leading film magazine, he is allowed to feed his passions on a daily basis: generating, editing and writing articles as a thinly veiled excuse to provide the world with his opinions. Like any healthy cinema obsessive, he grew up on James Bond, Indiana Jones, and sneaking into horror movies when he was tall enough. It has grown into a magnificent obsession with everything from Hitchcock to Kurosawa, from arcane film theory to picking your favourite Harrison Ford punch. He has had the immense good fortune of traversing the globe, interviewing the great and good: watching the godlike Steven Spielberg at work, eating ice cream with Peter Jackson and a tableful of orcs, buying Sigourney Weaver breakfast, and being hugged by both Oliver Stone and Kate Winslet -sadly, not at the same time. He has regularly contributed to books; newspapers such as the London Times and Independent; and magazines; had a weekly radio show; and produced TV documentaries and award ceremonies. The work of Sir Ridley Scott, in particular the extraordinary Alien, has been seminal in inspiring him to what film could be, and how much there is to discover within it.

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Aurum Press (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845136675
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845136673
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,938,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
'Alien Vault' is simply a handsome rehash of every 'Alien' anecdote that has been discussed umpteen times before. Although visually pleasing, and attractive in its slip case and hardcover binding, it's a disappointment in every other aspect. Author Ian Nathan has simply relied upon the 'Anthology/Quadrilogy' documentaries and earlier published interviews, review material, etc. to provide a rather uninspired retelling of tales already told. Although a bibliography is included, the text itself lacks footnotes (which is rather telling), and it appears Nathan didn't conduct even one new interview (circa 2011) with anyone involved in the making of 'Alien'. 'Alien' fans will recognize direct quotes from the BD/DVD documentaries, which, when simply retold, lack the authenticity and enthusiasm of eyewitness recollections and, as such, are completely tacky in printed form.

The 'pouches' of materials included are nice, I suppose, but nothing to get too excited about (if you want Giger prints or Nostromo patches, they're easily available on internet auction sites). The odd 'new' photo is really nothing much, either.

The most damning criticisms pertain to the errors Nathan makes. Veronica Cartwright is continually referred to as Veronica 'Cartright'; Nathan states that Jones the cat was encouraged to snarl by Ridley Scott saying 'Boo!' (we all know Scott had a dog hidden behind a screen that he revealed when he wanted the appropriate reaction from the cat); the Nostromo patch lacks initials; etc. Nitpicking? No. When your book is subtitled "The Definitive Story of the Making of the Film" it DAMN well better be definitive! 'Alien Vault' is nowhere near the definitive statement on 'Alien'.
Read more ›
10 Comments 77 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Length: 1:25 Mins
Alien Vault is the movie companion to the masterpiece of Ridley Scott.

The 176-page book comes in a nice slipcase. The pages are filled with photos, artwork and some printed artefacts like Ridley Scott's annotated storyboards and other interesting stuff enclosed in vellum envelopes.

As for the content, much of the visual content were actually released in a much earlier book called The Book of Alien, just that the presentation is different. Some of the set photos are the same, as with Chris Foss' design for the Nostromo spaceship, Moebius design for the spacesuits, etc.

Alien Vault focuses on the movie production. The interviews and stories are interesting to read, especially when movies made nowadays are prone to using CGI for special effects. There are lots of insights to movie making and you can find out the little camera tricks they use. The content layout is organized, the artwork and set photos are great.

It makes more sense to get this if you've don't have the earlier book or the Alien DVDs with extras, or just new to Alien. It's 5 stars if you've not seen the content before.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
3 Comments 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In his foreword to Alien Vault, author Ian Nathan recounts his first experience with Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi / horror masterpiece. Right away this book struck a chord with me, because the film planted the same hook in me at almost the same age, with a key difference - I actually saw "Alien" during its original theatrical run in the summer of 1979 at the tender age of 8. The movie mesmerized and terrorized me and I loved it (the fact that I saw the movie in the theater at such an early age is, in my mind, not the fault of poor parenting but rather attributable to parental capitulation in the face of constant nagging - post "Star Wars," I was mad for anything that hinted of space adventure or SF).

I love many films in many ways, and it's hard (and really rather pointless) to try to identify any movie as my "favorite;" but "Alien" comes as close as any. In the 32 years since its release, I've probably seen it at least 30 times; I usually watch it at least once a year. The recent release of the film and its sequels on the Blu-Ray format was a major event for me.

So, with my bona fides as an "Alien" buff established, let me say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There are a few puzzling omissions (for example, Nathan completely ignores the fact that one of the original concepts for "Alien," a story called "B-17," was animated and then refitted with the story arc of the movie "Heavy Metal" for inclusion in that film). There may be little if any new ground broken with the book, but it would probably be hard to find any major new revelations on a three decade-old production.
Read more ›
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I must say that being a watcher of the Alien movies for the past 20-or-so years in videos, DVDs, multiple viewings on TV, I'm not really that educated in the intricate detailing of the Alien movie universe. Other than some well-known facts that four great directors directed the four movies (I won't count the AVP movies), H. R. Giger designed the original creature, and that it has gained an everlasting fandom among sci-fi fans, how the Alien movie idea came to be remained elusive for me. That is, until I read this book.

Some other reviewers said that this book contains things already discussed many, many times before elsewhere, but still for one latecomer like me remain fascinated to discover the real story of how the alien concept came to be. The book is filled with polaroids from the making of the movie. The retro feelings make you appreciate how the filmmaker went all out to make this film in the 70's. This was a time when cheesiness was still reigning and Star Wars was the new undisputed champion of blockbuster movies. They obviously took a leap faith in ushering Alien to the opposite tone of the cheery Star Wars.

The book comes with a slipcase and pouches filled with small goodies like the Nostromo logo sticker, blueprints of the spaceships, Giger's Alien designs, etc. Nice touches on the goodies, but I'm more into the book's information than these small gimmicks.

All in all, the Alien Vault is informative and inspiring without being too tedious. Though not perfect in the structuring the contents, it is a valuable resource to sci-fi fans in general, and especially the Alien xenomorph aficionados.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews