Aliens: Bug Hunt is a 2017 short story anthology published by Titan Books. The book contains 18 short stories by different writers that chiefly focus on the Colonial Marines. Contributing authors include Dan Abnett, Rachel Caine, Larry Correia, Keith R. A. DeCandido, David Farland, Matt Forbeck, Ray Garton, Christopher Golden, Heather Graham, Brian Keene, Paul Kupperberg, Tim Lebbon, Marina J. Lostetter, Jonathan Maberry, James A. Moore, Yvonne Navarro, Weston Ochse, Mike Resnick and Scott Sigler. It was released on April 18, 2017.
As well as standard print editions, the novel was released in audiobook format in 2017, read by an ensemble cast and published by Audible Studios.
When the Marines set out after their deadliest prey, the Xenomorphs, it's what Corporal Hicks calls a bug hunt — kill or be killed. Here are eighteen all-new stories of such "close encounters", written by many of today's most extraordinary authors.
Set during the events of all four Alien films, sending the Marines to alien worlds, to derelict space settlements, and into the nests of the universe's most dangerous monsters, these adventures are guaranteed to send the blood racing — one way or another.
- Chance Encounter by Paul Kupperberg
- Reaper by Dan Abnett
- Broken by Rachel Caine
- Reclamation by Yvonne Navarro
- Blowback by Christopher Golden
- Exterminators by Matt Forbeck
- No Good Deed by Ray Garton
- Zero to Hero by Weston Ochse
- Dark Mother by David Farland
- Episode 22 by Larry Correia
- Deep Background by Keith R. A. DeCandido
- Empty Nest by Brian Keene
- Darkness Falls by Heather Graham
- Hugs to Die For by Mike Resnick and Marina J. Lostetter
- Deep Black by Jonathan Maberry
- Distressed by James A. Moore
- Dangerous Prey by Scott Sigler
- Spite by Tim Lebbon
The book also features an introduction by Maberry and a section listing biographies for each of the authors involved.
- The book's title is taken from the line, "Is this gonna be a stand-up fight, sir, or another bug hunt?" spoken by Private Hudson (as well as the later affirmation, "It's a bug hunt," said by Corporal Hicks) in the film Aliens. The similar Predator anthology published later the same year, Predator: If It Bleeds, likewise takes its title from film dialogue, in that case from Predator.
- Several of the stories feature characters from other films and novels in the Alien franchise, including Apone, Hicks, Dietrich, Hudson, Vasquez, Frost, Crowe, Wierzbowski, Spunkmeyer, Bishop and Burke from Aliens, and "Snow Dog" Halley, Huyck, Nassise, Sprenkel and Bestwick from the Rage War trilogy.
- Despite bearing the Aliens moniker in its title, eight of the book's stories — Reaper, Broken, Blowback, Exterminators, Zero to Hero, Episode 22, Distressed and Spite — do not actually feature the Alien at all (although several of these stories mention the Xenomorph in passing, or feature characters from other Alien films/novels).
- Bug Hunt also contains several stories that feature numerous alien species other than the Xenomorph. Previously, such species had been something of a rarity in the Alien franchise and were chiefly limited to Aliens comics from Dark Horse — examples include the lizard-like space travelers in Aliens: Theory of Alien Propagation, the Reapers from Aliens: Reapers, the reptilian Xenomorph-eating alien from Aliens: Taste, the alien pilot shown in Aliens: Earth Angel, the hunting village aliens from Aliens: Alien, the extraterrestrial scientists in Aliens: Incubation, the alien monkeys in Aliens: Fire and Stone and, of course, the Predators and Engineers. The only other literary example prior to Bug Hunt were the Drukathi, which first appeared in the novel Alien: Out of the Shadows and went on to feature in the Rage War trilogy.
- Of the 19 authors who contributed to the anthology, Dan Abnett, Christopher Golden, Tim Lebbon, James A. Moore and Yvonne Navarro had all previously written stories for the Alien franchise, be they novels, video games or comic books.
- According to editor Jonathan Maberry in his introduction to the book, some of the stories are not necessarily considered canon, while others fit into the established continuity of the Alien franchise.
- The synopsis on the back cover of both the hard and softcover editions state that the book includes "fifteen all-new stories", when in fact there are eighteen.
- In early editions, the short Dark Mother contained editor's notes that had erroneously been left in the text and printed as part of the story.