David Cronenberg's Alien: Novelization by J.G. Ballard

This is genius.

Lyle Hopwood uncovers a lost Ballard work, apparently the only surviving fragment from JGB's novelization of David Cronenberg's film of Alien, before the studio infamously got cold feet and replaced Cronenberg with Ridley Scott and Ballard with Alan Dean Foster.
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5 Responses:

  1. rapier1 says:


    This piece originally appeared in Interzone #75, September 1993. The blurb from the editor, David Pringle, was as follows:

    "On page 5 of Interzone 70 we announced a competition or the best short extract from an imaginary novelization of the science-fiction movie Alien as it might have been written by leading British novelist J.G. Ballard. The prize is a copy of the new edition of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (ed. Clute & Nicholls), kindly provided by publishers Little Brown/Orbit. The response, for what was quite a demanding competition, pleased us: over a dozen good entries were received. The clear winner, however, was Lyle Hopwood, who performed a clever double-twist: she not only reimagined the novelization as having been written by Ballard (rather than Alan Dean Foster), but she reimagined the film itself as having been directed by David Cronenberg (rather than Ridley Scott)."

    Thanks to Lyle and David for permission to reproduce it here.

    So is it Lyle writing like Ballard or Lyle presenting Ballard's work? The intro and outro seem to contradict each other unless the intro is basically laying the fictional groundwork to explain these excerpts. Alternatively, I might be an idiot.

  2. nightrider says:

    That was delicious.
    Thank you, sir, may I have another!