Researching ALIEN online. (Or, “What’s in your predictive text cache?”)

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I do not go to any lengths to deny that I have been a fan of ALIEN since 1979. Despite that, I readily admit that there are always gaps in my knowledge of its lore and minutia. Thank goodness someone is writing these things down somewhere…

Back before web crawlers and search engines, good ALIEN web sites were as hard to find as rare jewels if you did not bookmark them. In fact, one of the first online tools I remember using was one that helped find and eliminate duplicate bookmarks and dead links.

Who needs bookmarks now?

For example, when I type “alien” in my browser’s search bar, predictive text makes certain that there are three sites that pop up immediately. These are sites that I go to quite often, sometimes on a daily basis, as I read (and reminisce) about a particular aspect of ALIEN.

There is no need for bookmarks, really, in an internet that has catalogued so much and put it right at our fingertips. Right?

 

Right…

 

As The Nostromo Files website makes its ponderous way through the space lanes around the Network, it can be helpful to remind old-school fans of three fantastic resources for exploring ALIEN.

More importantly to me, however, is to also introduce these sites to new fans who came to the series later and are just discovering how richly detailed and documented are the things established in the first movie.

These three sites are, in (clickable) alphabetical order:

 

ALIEN EXPLORATIONS

 

THE ALIEN UNIVERSE TIMELINE

 

STRANGE SHAPES

 

The authors of these sites (respectively, Dominic Kulcsar, Scott Middlebrook, and Johnny Kennedy) do the hard research, not relying on hear-say or other vagaries that too often become canon in the popular group-mind.

Thank you, guys, for the hard work and long thought that goes into these sites. I wanted to find a happy image from ALIEN to celebrate with, but you know what? There just aren’t that many, are there?  Still, there is this one, from Dallas’ offer to buy ‘the last supper’:

 

Who knew that one guy’s little idea would make so many happy? Hmmm…could there be a metaphor lurking here?

 

Like all good fans should be, Dominic, Scott, and Johnny are open to discussion about aspects of their sites and have often made changes when someone brings valid proofs to the table. Of course, don’t take that to mean you’ll get an easy edit out of them. They spend untold hours ruminating on these things, so you’d better know your stuff before you go a-knocking.

I would even go as far as to say that if these three ever published their material, or even got together and published a book about ALIEN that combined their three areas of interest, it would be a reference book much like and worthy to join The Book of ALIEN in the library.

 

The Book of Alien (1979), by Michael Gross, Paul Scanlon

 

But enough of that. Back to my point:

I have written elsewhere on this site that besides being a cache of Nostromo information, The Nostromo Files has also enjoyed promoting the work of other hands whose works further the understanding of ALIEN (1979).

May that work — and our enjoyment of it — never end…

 

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