Space: 1999
Episode by Episode

Alien Seed

(Original Novel)

From: South Central Date: Sun, 17 May 1998 16:37:57 -0700 Subject: Space1999: Episode by Episode (Book by Book)

This week's original novel for discussion is E.C. Tubb's, ALIEN SEED. Discussion lasts from Monday, May 18 to Sunday, May 24. I will post a detailed summary of the novel on Monday. Anyone who does NOT want to now the events of the novel--including its end--should heed my spoiler warnings.

I read the book again this last week and really enjoyed it. It combines elements of some Year One episodes while forshadowing elements of episodes of Year Two.

More later... Sorry Ekmar. Earthfall will have to wait until after Year Two as the vote specifically excluded this novel and the period of time in which to vote (or to amend the topic of the vote) had long since passed. Earthfall is not really a Year One novel as it is an ALTERNATE TAKE on the series concept.

I look forward to discussing it though (and reading it!).


From: Simon Morris ( Date: Mon, 18 May 1998 20:37:55 +0100 Subj: Space1999: Re: ALIEN SEED Original Novel

As I read the latest posts this Monday evening,I haven't yet read any comments on the first original SPACE 1999 novel "Alien Seed" by EC Tubb,so perhaps I could be one of the first to make some?

Well,basically....I don't like it! I never did like it!! I tried to get through it years ago(back in 1976 when I first bought it)and failed. I've tried for the past week to read it from beginning to end and failed again. For some reason,I never COULD become involved in EC Tubbs SPACE1999 novels. Philip Merkel commented last week that Tubb's "EARTHFALL" was too painful and preachy. As far as I'm concerned this also applies to his other novels. Tubbs credits as a solid sci-fi writer are impeccable,and shows that Orbit/Futura(the original publishers of the paperbacks here in the UK)were very serious about their efforts to produce high quality SPACE 1999 novels. I always get the impression that Tubb is using an established universe(ie Moonbase Alpha and its characters) as a vehicle for a science fiction story that in my opinion could have better used his own original characters and settings.

The novel ALIEN SEED is quite grim.....not even Year 1 was as grim as this. Was there barely any humour in the novel? I also don't think the characters were entirely on target....some of them(Carter,Koenig)being too stiff and not in keeping with the portrayals on screen(I know that this is very difficult,especially if Tubb wrote the book not long after the tv series was screened). Why is there a tendency to lecture on everything? (I get the impression it is to show off Tubbs knowledge of physics and suchlike). To me,it slows down the pace of the story to get characters spouting off at the others about every concept or theory,such as Bergmans "Size is relative. Think of a coconut....." lecture near the start of chapter 4. There is quite a lot of arid tecnical chat in this chapter. In fact there is a lot of "talking" and not a lot of "doing" in the entire book. I know I sound like Fred Freiberger here but some of the characters become tedious as a result. Instead of taking the opportunity to enhance the characters(as I believe John Rankine successfully did,,,and without going over the top,Freiberger-style),they just become tedious mouthpieces. But thats just my opinion folks!!!!. I could have put up with a lot of the above if the characters were sympathetic,but for the most part they are not;they are just overly harsh and unsympathetically painted. In Y1 of the show,the characters were generally humans in an unfamiliar world but displayed humanity for all that. Some of the dialogue which Petter winces at towards the latter half of the season humanised them far more successfully than certain episodes of Y2,where the characterisations were phoney. Tubb reverses all this to the extent that I didn't really recognise his characters as being those of the televised episodes. I'm sure to some,they are spot on,but I'm sorry I couldn't stretch my imagination that far.....

To sum up(and being Devils Advocate to some degree)I thought ALIEN SEED was slow,somewhat boring( the half I didnt read may be better,but if a writer can't involved the reader from page 1 then in my opinion he's in trouble)and a wasted opportunity at examining and developing some of the characters of the series. There is far too much lecturing in the story(repeated in Tubbs other novels). It may-as a pure science fiction novel-be an outstanding piece of work(I'm certainly no judge),but as an enjoyable SPACE 1999 novel....I'm sorry but it just doesnt cut the mustard.

Simon Morris

From: South Central ( Date: Mon, 18 May 1998 12:59:56 -0700 Subj: Space1999: ALIEN SEED (Part 1)

What follows is the first part of a summary of the book. So if you haven't read it, or haven't finished it yet, and don't want to know how it ends....

Alien Seed begins with the construction of a garden (for the cultivation of crops) hewn out of a lunar cavern. This will be the setting for much of the story. A young Alphan woman, Constance Boswell (a botanist) has designed a central fountain for the garden.

Meanwhile an object approaches the moon on a collision course with Alpha. Koenig sends Eagles to intercept; the idea is to destroy the object before it volatizes Alpha. When they see the object Bergman begins to suspect that it may be an alien craft. He urges Koenig to set off a limited nuclear blast near the ship to alter its trajectory.

Koenig agrees to try. They do so. It works. The object crashes (at an oblique angle) into a crater about 30 kilometers from Alpha.

While all this is going on Helena had been conducting ESP tests on a young Alphan woman. She stops to prepare Medical Center to receive casualties in the matter of the object and its possible collision near Alpha. When the woman waked up after being sedated for a brain wave exam she has become insane and violent. An analysis of her brain waves reminds Mathias of an experiment they once conducted to take EEGs by means of a directed beam (without contact with the patient). He says they once, on a whim, directed the beam at a spider and the line that showed on the screen matches a line in the now distorted brainwave patterns of the now-insane Alpha. He says they surmised then that the line denoted...hunger.

They go to investigate and see that the object broke apart on impact. Amidst the wreckage they find numerous "spheres" and begin to collect them for analysis. The outer shell of the object is nearly impossible to cut, even with a laser. Bergman begins to think that the "spheres" are seeds and that the object was seed pod. He hypothesizes that the pod may have been injected into space from a planet with a low gravity--which he believes explains the size of the pod which is twice the size of an eagle.

Mathias (?) calculates that the numbers do not match up. The overall mass of the object as it approached the moon does not match the mass of the wreckage and the 87 melon sized spheres. He surmises that "something" else was in the pod (or there are over 25,000 more spheres to be found.

Bergman has managed to cut one of the spheres in half to reveal that it is biological in origin. He convinces Koenig to allow him to plant one--because it could provide them with a means to product the hard material of the "seed pod" which might prove invaluable.

Meanwhile, the search crew looking for seed is attacked--though Alpha only knows that they disappeared. They go to investigate--difficult due to the thick layer of lunar dust in the crater. They are attacked mentally and physically by some huge alien creature. Many men die. The others are rescued.

The correlation between the woman's insanity and her subsequent behavior (trying to bite Koenig on the neck when he goes to see her)--this taking place at the same time as the disappearance of the search crew--leads Koenig (later) to suspect that the creature is telepathic and has somehow linked minds with the woman.

The creature begins to tunnel its way toward Alpha. Koenig uses the woman as a lure. Just as she can feel the creature's hunger, so can it feel her satisfaction at eating. So he plants explosives and a bomb in cavern along with food. As the creature approaches, drawn by the woman's anticipation of eating the food (remember her EEG denoted extreme hunger) Koenig lets the woman go to the food. As the creature starts to break into the cavern, Koenig pulls the woman back and the creature enters the cavern and is destroyed.

The woman regains her composure now that the creature is destroyed. But the story is not over yet... for Bergman's seeds have begun to germinate....


From: South Central ( Date: Tue, 19 May 1998 10:07:14 -0700 Subj: Space1999: ALIEN SEED (Part 2)

So anyway...

The "seeds" begin to germinate and grow. Many different environments are set up to try to match its native environment (hoping that one will match). All however begin to die. Constance Boswell (botanist) is checking on them when she finds one plant (now the size of a triffid) alive. She seems to go into a stupor or trance and the petals of the huge flower close over her head.

Later when they are clearing away the dead plants they discover this live one hidden behind some plastic barriers (remember it is one of 87). Constance Boswell comes out from behind the plant begging them not to hurt it. She is delirious and later is found to be suffering from anemia.

They discover that from the bole of the huge plant are the sounds of a heart-beat (or something like it). As the plant has the characteristics and component structures of both animal and plant--this is not surprising. Koenig suspects that something may be gestating within the bole and orders security to set up defensive positions.

At that moment the bole splits apart and emerging from the folds of tissue is the figure of a woman (who is incredibly beautiful--but who also looks remarkably like Constance Boswell).

Time passes and we see the woman, Enalus, living a sheltered life on Alpha. Helena is still trying to determine if she is a threat. Basically it is like she is wearing Love Potion #9, every man who comes into her presence falls in love with her and wishes to protect her at all costs.

This causes many disturbances on Alpha between jealous men (and women jealous of their men).

Then Constance Boswell's boyfriend (after guarding Enalus) dies of total and sudden anemia. The guard relieving him says she never left her room. Helena doubts this and suspects Enalus. She feels that the second guard is just covering for her.

Even Koenig is affected and gets indignant when aspersions are cast against Enalus. Helena and Victor (less affected perhaps due to age or his mechanical heart) set up an experiment to test Enalus--without Koenig's knowledge.

Paul volunteers to spend some time with Enalus (playing his guitar) in the garden. His blood count is being monitored surrepticiously. Enalus touches him and his readings go nuts. Security moves in and separates them. He is now in the first stages of anemia.

It is discovered that all the males who have come into contact with Enalus have a slight case of anemia and would all recover. Even Koenig. She obviously has been feeding on the men like a sort of vampire. Her first victim (Constance's boyfriend) died because she didn't limit her intake.

The males think she can be accomodated as she has no desire to kill, only feed. Mathias realizes that Enalus doesn't need blood--only the iron contained in the haemoglobin.

They feed her the iron in confinement and she begins to grow, now only a bloated vaguely humanoid shape. The WOMEN are on guard.

Eventually Enalus stops feeding and begins to "hibernate". Another change is coming and no one knows what it is. In the end, Enalus splits open and a creature of pure energy emerges. It thanks them and leaves,passing right through the ceiling.

Normalcy slowly returns to Alpha.

From: South Central ( Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 08:57:12 -0700 Subj: Space1999: Alien Seed (discussion p.1): characterization

To tell you the truth, I enjoyed Alien Seed. There is so little Space: 1999 and the four novels are a welcome addition.

I like Space: 1999 when it resembles hard science fiction. This is not to say that I don't like the metaphysical or philosophical elements--in fact they are what lifts the show above most others (except perhaps The Prisoner). Therefore I enjoy a little scientific exposition on Bergman's part. It just seems right.

As for characterization in the novel:

Koenig: it portrays him as quick tempered, impulsive, as a man who struggles between "blast first, ask questions later" and "we come in peace". He is also seen as caring about his fellow Alphans. He gives his commlock to a young botanist to announce the inauguration of the new garden and its fountain--to allow fellow Alphans part of the positive glory normally reserved for the leaders.

He is shown as very conscious of the artificial pressures building within Alpha because of their living on the edge of destruction lifestyle. And he takes full responsibility for his decisions.

There are moments in this book where Koenig is not in character--but these are clearly when he is under the influence of the Alien Creature.

Bergman: He is like a curious elder child. His scientific curiousity limitless. In this Tubb hit it right on. However Victor is also made to fit the stereotype of the scientist who endangers all by arguing for taking risks with an obviously dangerous alien. You've seen it before...The Thing From Another World, etc. At least 10 people die in this book!

I refer not to Victor's wanting the space-going object to be diverted, but his wanting the seeds to be planted (ALL 87!!!) after the creature they had to destroy--and it wasn't easy--has already proven hostile and deadly! The fact that Koenig doesn't have them dug up and destroyed immediately (they were planted before the creature attacked) amazes me!

Helena Russell: Tubb portrays her as a woman who is a professional--and whose professional detachment is the face she puts forth. Koenig almost accuses her of being unemotional (as a barb) and she puts him straight. She can't afford to make sentimental decisions when the safety of Alpha is a stake. She is somewhat jealous of Enalus's influence on Koenig, but she is level-headed and sees it for what it is. If Koenig is under alien influence. She takes charge of the situation and does what needs to be done. Hell! She organizes a female only security force!

Paul: Only seen playing guitar (nod to The Blacs Sun)

Sandra: Described as showing emotion--and this from a person who is usually too professional to display her emotions. YEAH, I laughed at that line too!

(end of part one of discussion on ALIEN SEED)

From: South Central ( Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 09:12:52 -0700 Subj: Space1999: ALIEN SEED (discussion p.2): Alpha

One thing about this book is that it shows other Alphans and other sections of Alpha--other than just the command staff and Main Mission. True this occurred in The Troubled Spirit, Voyager's Return, and a few other episodes, but I like the way he showed Alpha as a real place, a workplace. There were little comments on concerts and relationships that fleshed out the Alphan community.

From: South Central ( Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 09:24:12 -0700 Subj: Space1999: ALIEN SEED (p.3): Story influences from episodes (past and future)

I saw many shadows of other episodes in this book. Some foreshadowing Y2 episodes.

The Lambda Factor (?) in the experiments that Helena is running on an Alphan woman at the beginning. AND the telepathic link between creature (like the celestial entity in LF) and an Alphan woman.

Catacombs of the Moon: Just the setting and the appearance of Alphan miners.

The Black Sun/End of Eternity: Object on collision course with Alpha being diverted/investigated by Alan Carter.

Collision Course: The way Helena realizes Koenig is not rational and goes over his head (with Victor!)

I realize that many will say that this does not speak well for the novel that it is derivative of other episodes (like ST:TMP was to Star Trek). But the idea WAS original--the elements of Y! episodes are nods to "what real 1999 is like" and the foreshadowing of Y2 is just coincidental, though interesting!

From: South Central ( Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 09:30:11 -0700 Subj: Space1999: ExE

What does everyone else think about Alien Seed? Let's hear from everyone--whether they voted to discuss the novels or not. Whether they liked the book or not. There are tens and tens of ST books (mostly bad BTW)--we have only four. I used to dream I'd find #s 11, 14, 17, etc. by Tubb and Rankine. I had that dream many many times--usually coupled with me realizing I had no money! :-)

I truly WISH they had written more!! Why not read and discuss the few we have--good or bad?


From: David Welle ( Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 23:13:54 Subj: Re: Space1999: ExE

What does everyone else think about Alien Seed? Let's hear from everyone--whether they voted to discuss the novels or not. Whether they liked the book or not.

Well, I didn't vote at all (shame on me :-), but I'm not going to get to Alien Seed in time, given the variety of other things I've been having to do this week. I will, however, be able to read the next S19 novel over the long weekend, and be able to post comments. Not to get ahead of myself, but what is the next novel (I can't remember if the original ones were numbered as the novelizations were)? I have all of them, but never really had a good opportunity to read them; now is the best opportunity.

There are tens and tens of ST books (mostly bad BTW)

Some are pretty good. I used to have a larger collection (they tended to be nice reading in college for a relaxing break), but have been paring it down over time to just the best ones, as there are a lot of mediocre or outright bad ones. It started getting redundant after awhile; and the author's abilities varied, so the quality did as well. Is anyone looking for certain ST novels based on the original series? Ask for the title and, if you have it, the number, and I'll check if I still have a copy I'm willing to part with.

--we have only four. I used to dream I'd find #s 11, 14, 17, etc.

'Tis a pity. Too bad some publishing company didn't start picking up on the early fan fiction writers' efforts and start using some of their stories. Isn't that where many of the ST original novels -- or at least a few of the authors -- got started?

That reminds me... if anyone is willing to sell their copies of S19 fan fiction from the 70s and 80s, please, *please*, PLEASE let me know! The "older" stories are very hard to find, except for three that George Eichler (of S9FAN fame) got permission to reproduce and sell -- and some of Terry Bowers' stories, as she still sells copies of some of her older fanzines.

I truly WISH they had written more!!

As do I.

Believe it or not, there are a few more original novels, namely four or so based on Year Two. Unfortunately, they were never published outside of Germany (and are thus written in German), and are apparently quite rare besides. Have any of our German list members (or anyone else) seen or read these?

From: Ekmar Brand ( Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 14:29:58 +0200 Subj: Space1999: GERMAN NOVELS

The first six Year Two novels were sold in Germany very good. Because the German editors didn't have more stuff for further translations, they decided to write own sequels with German writers. So another six novels were released only in Germany. These novels are very rare. There were released twenty years ago and not reprinted.

Yes, I have all twelve German Year Two novels (six translations and six original stories).


From: Simon Morris ( Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 01:08:54 +0100 Subj: Space1999: Re: ALIEN SEED Novel

I still can't bring myself to finish ALIEN SEED (perhaps when I'm on holiday by the seaside in 10 days time...!) but I will agree with Mateos comments as to the parallels that can be drawn with episodes of SPACE 1999 as televised. I can see these even though I only read about half the book!

The characterisations to me still seem off-base. Thats not to say they are unrecognizable(because they're not)...merely that they all seem overly grim and depressing. OK,so their situation was never a bundle of laughs. But I still think Tubb has them giving too many speeches and lectures. To me,Victor Bergman is probably the closest to the televised characterisation. Also Tubb does go some way to creating a little bit of background to some of the characters. one brewing beer though....

Ah- I forgot!! John Rankine features that sort of thing at the start of Phoenix of Megaron!!!

Mateos comment about Tubbs attempts to feature areas of Alpha never seen on tv are of course right on target-concerts and hydroponic caverns etc are exactly what you would expect. A novelist can do wondrous things with words and imagination that would cost time and money to put on a tv screen!

Most of you list members have all these books. I know it takes rather more time to read and notate a book than it does to watch a tv episode but try and offer your thoughts. We'd all like to see new novelisations along the lines of the interminable list of Star Trek books. Lets try and identify what was wrong with the very few SPACE novels that were written....or indeed what was right....and perhaps we can arrive at the sort of novel we might like to see professionally written in the future.

Simon Morris

From: South Central ( Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 20:36:51 -0700 Subj: Re: Space1999: Re: ALIEN SEED Novel


That was a very generous letter! I know you don't really like this book and I respect you for giving it a try. I thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts as part of this thread and send you extra special thanks for urging others to do so too!

Hey, we don't all have to agree on everything--though I hope you'll agree with me that the members of this list are a fine group of people! Your reasoned and careful letter made me very happy! Thanks for taking the time to read my letters on the book and for considering my ideas.



From: Mike Lynch ( Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 17:18:38 -0400 Subj: Space1999: (novel) ALIEN SEED

I may not have the perspective that others have of this novel since I only acquired a copy about two months ago (I found it in a used book store), and I don't have the years of being able to look back on it my view may not be as in-depth as those of others. But here's my take on it.

The story itself isn't bad, that fact that it resurrects elements of science fiction that can be considered "classic" helps it a great deal (i.e. - giant monsters, Zero-G action, cloning, and potentially dangerous exotic fauna). The second half of the novel that deals with the alien plant life, and its "offspring," would have made an excellent episode, in my opinion. I also enjoyed seeing aspects of Alpha, and its personnel that we didn't get to see in the show - this added a depth to the story, and its events, that might have otherwise been lacking had we been locked to Medical, Main Mission, Hanger Bays, etc.

However, I found this book to be rather sporadic in its distribution of action. We start out being thrown right into the fray with the asteroid threatening to collide with Alpha, and the results of its impact with the Moon. I found this novel to be rather analogous to being in a car whose driver either has their foot on the gas, or they don't: there was no gentle transition between the two elements. We were either on on the Lunar surface bearing witness to strange and frightening events (or dealing with a plant-woman), or we were in the base where nothing was happening except dialog. The moments on the Lunar surface were some of the best moments of the first half of the book - they were believable, taught with anticipation, and there was a real sense of impending danger. We felt as bewildered by the strange orbs scattered around the crash sight, and the hollow asteroid, and we were concerned about the dust surrounding the crater, but once back in the base we had to wade through discussion and debate until the next surface excursion.

Don't misunderstand - the dialog had between the characters while back on the base was at times engaging and real... it just seemed to be an all too abrupt transition. Someone made the comment earlier (I apologize that I cannot recall who) that E.C. Tubb's physics lectures became too much of a burden to his stories, and to a certain degree I agree with this, however being that I am not that well versed in physics I found most of these little "tutorial tangents" to be entertaining and interesting. But I also agree that they tend to happen rather frequently, and this can weigh down the momentum of the story as well.

Perhaps my biggest problem I have with this novel is the fact that it could have ended in three different places (following the detonation of the atomic device in the crater to kill the alien, the final (and eventual) killing of the alien, and then at the book's final close with the plant-woman metamorphosing into a ball of light), and the continuation beyond the first two "endings" seemed to be rather anti-climactic. There is also the fact that there is such a shift in attitude, and action, between the death of the alien that the growing of the plants that it feels as if we are reading two different books. Had it not been for the fact that the second half of the novel included the seeds released from the asteroid in the opening there would have been no correlation between the first half and the second half.

I also find Tubb's treatment of characters to be tiresome - they all seem to be cast from very specific pre-fabricated literary molds. How many times is Helena referred to as being warm, emotional, or soft? And how many of the male characters are portrayed as firm, strong, clinical, and decisive? These portrayals get very tiresome. There is also the unfortunate fact that Tubb relies on his readers being familiar with the characters from the show when presenting them in his books (ALIEN SEED being no different). We are given a cursory description, and are fed a few tid bits throughout the rest of the book, but ultimately his character build-up is staggeringly limited. Which means that he, nor the publisher, was looking to cater to an audience outside of those who already knew the show.

That being said... there are aspects of ALIEN SEED that I found most enjoyable: the "woman" created by the plant. I found the process by which the plant sampled the "host" material so as to create an "offspring" to be very believable. As was the dietary needs for the alien woman. It was refreshing to see that this wasn't just another blood sucking alien, but rather a being that required a specific dietary supplement that just happened to be in the human blood stream. The use of the pheromone by the alien woman was a little confusing, and I found it to be rather unnecessary. I felt that this portion of the story would have worked just as well, if not better, had the sexual element been left out. This was an aspect that seemed cliché and didn't fit with the stories offered on television.

So what is my final verdict? I liked it, but it doesn't rank as high as the novels based on the actual episodes. Tubb seemed to get lost in the stories that he was trying to put together in ALIEN SEED, and instead of presenting a coherent story with a specific chain of events we wound up with two stories that were linked by the thinnest of threads. I think that this novel would have worked much better had it been two separate books, as opposed to one. Yes, Tubb's treatment of characters is tiresome and rather dated (even for the 70's), and his presentation of physics "lectures" can slow down the story, but he was able to present some well thought out ideas and material.

If I had to rate it out 1 to 10 I would give it a 4. But since that's not the point of this discussion you can ignore that.

Mike Lynch

From: "Ellen C. Lindow" ( Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 19:51:18 -0400 (EDT) Subj: Re: Space1999: Re: ALIEN SEED Novel

I re-read Alien Seed last fall, and that was enough for me. Of the four novels, I liked this one the least. I also liked Tubb the least of the first season novelists. After reading Earthfall, I could see echoes of Earthfall in Alien Seed. To be perfectly honest, I did enjoy Alien seed more this time than I did 20 years ago.

Alien Seed and Phoenix of Megaron (my favorite of the novels) both had odd echoes of second season, almost as if Tubb and Rankine had been breifed on the upcoming changes, but given no specifics. Both included an attractive alien girl. Alien Seedseemed to stress moving Alpha underground.

I remember being surprised that Victor talked John into letting him plant those seeds, especially in a place so open and vulnerable to their other resources. But Victor was good at talking John into things.

I believe the next book was Rogue Planet. I'll try to re-read it over the weekend when I'm not frantically getting ready flr Kevin's confirmation party, or daking him to see Godzilla. E

From: Paul Dorion ( Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 21:37:32 -0700 Subj: Re: Space1999: (novel) ALIEN SEED

Perhaps my biggest problem I have with this novel is the fact that it could have ended in three different places [....] and the continuation beyond the first two "endings" seemed to be rather anti-climactic. [....] Had it not been for the fact that the second half of the novel included the seeds released from the asteroid in the opening there would have been no correlation between the first half and the second half.

Indeed! IMHO really too much is going on in a 160-pages book. As a result, much of the story (except the "lectures" parts) seems rushed, the feeling being that you are in a dream where the sequence of events is far too fast without you being able to fully grasp all that is going on.

Furthermore (at least for me) the story does not generate much interest, as the characters are not engaging and there is not much new ground covered in the story. Too many plot points were already used in Y1 episodes (parts of "Space Brain" in the spaceship that almost crash-destroy the base, parts of "Alpha Child" in the innocent-looking-but not so-innocent guest on Alpha, parts of "Last enemy" in Dr Russell showing hostile reaction to the new guest to whom Koenig is somewhat attracted, parts of "Force of life" in the ball of light leaving the base after having gone through a portion of its evolution process... ).

And what was the "monster" doing with the seeds in the alien pod ?

I think that Tubb did a competent job in his tie-in novels and was told that his other original story (Rogue Planet) is far better. We'll find out in two weeks...

Paul :D (actually feeling like :/ after reading the book)

From: Simon Morris ( Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 11:17:50 +0100 Subj: Space1999: Re: SPACE 1999 Novels

Whilst the 4 Original Y1 novels are being discussed, it occurred to me that perhaps the American editions of these books missed out on the little autobigraphies of the authors which were included in the UK editions. I only have PHOENIX OF MEGARON in the Pocket Books edition(as it was never published here in the UK) and I know that does not feature a potted biography of John Rankine. So far the interest of those who might not know,a brief background to each writer:

EC Tubb: Born and educated in London,had been writing for last 30 years(and this was in 1975!). Work appeared on tv and radio in UK and abroad. Often has widely written on humanistic aspects of space flight and often consulted on technical problems in science-fiction. Co-founded the British Science Fiction Association;won short story award at the Trieste Festival(whatever that is!) and was a guest of honour at the World Science Fiction Convention at Heidelberg. His studies embrace astronomy,physics and extra-sensory perception while his hobbies include photography,archaeology and ancient weapons.

Phew! Thats pretty high-brow stuff. As you can see,Tubb was more than qualified to write a novel for SPACE 1999 and I'm not surprised at the technical detail in the books. Its almost as if Tubb was showing off. Trouble is(as Paul Dorion noted) there's too much going on in the book and the characters are unengaging and uninvolving.

John Rankine: Born in Hawarden on the North Wales/English border. Educated at Chester Grammar School and Manchester University,where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Psychology. Has written both series and short sci-fi stories,one of which was adapted for tv's "Out of The Unknown" series. Married with 4 kids(at least in 1975) and lived on Merseyside where he worked as a headmaster.

It was only in recent years that I discovered that his real name is Douglas Rankine Mason,and that he uses a wide variety of pseudonyms. He has also written outside sci-fi, for example historical romance(yuk) such as "The Darkling Plain". By the way,I haven't read it myself-I just heard about it(Oh yeah...thats what they all say....!). I personally found Rankines approach to be a sort of Y1/Y2 mix and was actually quite accessible and enjoyable,with far more time given to the characters who were very nicely portrayed.

Brian Ball: Bachelor of Arts obtained in London and Master of Arts in Sheffield(Yorkshire). Teaches and lectures in the North of England (well...he did in 1975). Written at that time 2 thrillers and has also written books on sci-fi and the occult. His ambition was to write good childrens stories and his first- "Jackons House" was his favourite of the books he had so far written. Married with 2 daughters.

I could never understand why out of 10 books they brought in a different author for one book. Of them all,Ball seems to me to have least grasp of the series. The characters don't seem to be true and technical aspects of Alpha are wrong.(I don't think commlocks are mentioned...characters have wrist communicators or something if I remember rightly). On the basis of his novelisation of scripts,I'm glad he never wrote an original novel.....

Simon Morris

From: "Ellen C. Lindow" ( Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 07:29:58 -0400 (EDT) Subj: Space1999: Next novel

Simon pointed out my error, the next novel is Android Planet, which I found out when I climbed into my library and found my stash of novels. (Whoever unpacked the truck last weekend "put away" the camping gear by standing in the door to the library and stacking all the gear in a pile.)

Android Planet is next, and I do like that one. I'll start reading it at lunch time today.

Ellen Lindow

From: Patricia Embury ( Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 21:00:19 -0400 Subj: Space1999: Alien Seed

I read this novel last night. I was left with a rather dissatisfied feeling. After I finished reading it, my first thought was 'Huh?'

The author didn't really know the characters. Sandra, quiet? Alan 'at one' with the Eagle- Tubb made it seem like Carter was having a rather "adult" relationship with the ship. The perceptions of Helena by Koenig were used repeatedly, and went on and on . I wanted to say enough already! Victor didn't seem to be the quietly dignified scientist of the series- he seemed to be portrayed as a slightly mad scientist. There seemed to be a lot of filler in the book, dialogue and descriptions that could have been done better. I could see the need for explanations of the physics involved, but there was too much 'as you know Bob' dialogue.

I agree with previous posters who have said the novel could have ended at one of three places. I would have been satisfied if they had used either part 1 and part 3 for the book and omitted the second part. The plant stuff, made me think of "Little Shop of Horrors meets 1999" aka "Little Base of Horrors" {Feed me Koenig!}{Victor as Mushnick, Koenig is Seymour, Helena is Audrey}A shorter segway to explain the seed transformation into the plant woman could have been written.

From: South Central ( Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 18:21:03 -0700 Subj: Space1999: ExE--a request :-)

There you go! I knew you could do it!! I knew you wouldn't let me down!!

Thanks for contributing to the Alien Seed discussions. Thanks to all of you. I haven't even started Android Planet! I belong to a book club and we meet tomorrow. I still have 28 pages of "Che" Guevara's, The Motorcycle Diaries to go!

I will start Android Planet on Sunday evening. I should be done on Monday or Tuesday (Monday IS a holiday!).

Would anyone volunteer to write the summary of Android Planet. Some have said they LOVE this book...hint hint!! I would be REALLY grateful--don't get any ideas!! :-) --if someone could do me this great favor!

"El Mateo"

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