Cowboys & Aliens

Cowboys & Aliens

Novelization

Book - 2011
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Blockbuster filmmaker Jon Favreau directs Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford in an event film for summer 2011 that crosses the classic Western with the alien-invasion movie in a blazingly original way: Cowboys & Aliens .  Joined by an arsenal of top moviemakers--Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci--he brings an all-new action thriller that will take audiences into the Old West, where a lone cowboy leads an uprising against a terror from beyond our world.

1875.  New Mexico Territory.  A stranger (Craig) with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution.  The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles one wrist.  What he discovers is that the people of Absolution don't welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde (Ford).  It's a town that lives in fear.

But Absolution is about to experience fear it can scarcely comprehend as the desolate city is attacked by marauders from the sky.  Screaming down with breathtaking velocity and blinding lights to abduct the helpless one by one, these monsters challenge everything the residents have ever known.

Now, the stranger they rejected is their only hope for salvation.  As this gunslinger slowly starts to remember who he is and where he's been, he realizes he holds a secret that could give the town a fighting chance against the alien force.  With the help of the elusive traveler Ella (Olivia Wilde), he pulls together a posse comprised of former opponents--townsfolk, Dolarhyde and his boys, outlaws and Apache warriors--all in danger of annihilation.  United against a common enemy, they will prepare for an epic showdown for survival.. 

The script for  Cowboys & Aliens  is by  Star Trek 's Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman  & Damon Lindelof (television's  Lost ) and Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby, screen story by Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Steve Oedekerk, based on Platinum Studios' "Cowboys & Aliens" created by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg. Grazer, Howard, Rosenberg, Kurtzman and Orci produce.  Spielberg, Favreau, Denis L. Stewart, Bobby Cohen, Randy Greenberg and Ryan Kavanaugh executive produce.  

This novelization is an exciting, action-packed story that starts with an amnesiac stranger and ends in a blaze of glory. Absolution, New Mexico, a town that lives in fear of its powerful benefactor, cattle baron Col. Woodrow Dolarhyde, is full of unhappy people--from the colonel''s spoiled, directionless son who tries to drink it dry, to the doctor-turned-saloon-keeper stuck in the remains of what was once a gold-rush boom town, to the preacher who struggles to find meaning in a place that seems as lifeless as the arid desert around it.  But when a mysterious  stranger with an odd bit of hardware on his wrist arrives, he brings with him a new kind of trouble that nobody could imagine in their wildest dreams. 

     It''s bad enough that the stranger is a wanted outlaw. But he''s followed by murderous demons from the sky that attack the town and snatch away a bunch of townsfolk, including Dolarhyde''s son. The posse that rides out to reclaim the abducted people encounters a series of obstacles that make the stranger''s ominous presence seem almost like a good thing. Attacked by a murderous outlaw band, besieged by Apaches with no love for any white man,  and terrorized by the demons themselves and their terrible death-machines, no posse has ever had an adventure as strange as this one . . . 

Alive with the color and spirit of the Old West and the sense of wonder of the most entertaining science fiction, this enthralling adventure is a unique and memorable experience readers won''t want to miss.

Publisher: New York : Tor, 2011.
ISBN: 9780765368263
Characteristics: 369 p. ;,18 cm.

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larrycarter
Jul 10, 2012

A fairly average re-write of the screenplay. Not bad but not great.

s
StarGladiator
Apr 03, 2012

As usual, Joan Vinge delivers -- a highly readable, action-oriented book with the correct amount of character development mixed with mystery.

Although I missed this movie, usually the book treatment is superior to the movie, which I'm guessing is the case here (the one unusual exception to this were those Robert Ludlum books, terribly inferior to the excellent movies most loosely based upon them: the Jason Bourne trilogy).

Ms. Vinge is as superior a book writer as she is a movie script writer.

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