The Book of Alien is a 1979 behind the scenes book covering the production of the film Alien, written by Paul Scanlon and Michael Gross and published by Heavy Metal Communications. It was first published on May 1, 1979, and was reissued by Titan Books in 2012.

The book contains behind-the-scenes information on the film's production, with a particular focus on the conceptual design phase. To this end, it features a wealth of conceptual artwork from the likes of Chris Foss, Ron Cobb, Ridley Scott and H. R. Giger of the ships, locations and creatures seen in the film. The book also features behind the scenes images taken on the sets and during filming, accompanied by commentary from the various individuals who worked on the movie.

Publisher's Summary[]

Contains over one hundred sketches and behind-the-scenes photographs from the new Twentieth Century-Fox film Alien. Packed with interviews and commentaries by the artists and writers who brought you the hottest science fiction thriller of the century.

2012 reissue[]

In 1979, a movie was released that was to capture the imagination of the world, and become a science fiction classic... Alien. 25 years later, the Alien franchise is stronger than ever!

The Book of Alien is the definitive companion to the movie, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2004. Taking you right behind the scenes of the production, there are interviews with the key people involved, including legendary designer HR Giger and director Ridley Scott. Lavishly illustrated with scores of stunning design paintings, production art and film stills unpublished elsewhere, the book covers every creative stage, and graphically demonstrates just why the movie won an Oscar for its visual effects. Simply a must-have for any Alien fan.


While the book contains several written sections that detail the development and production of the film, the majority consists of a wealth of behind the scenes images, including concept art, on-set photographs and captures from the film itself. Particular attention is paid to the design of the Nostromo, with numerous pieces of concept artwork by Ron Cobb and Chris Foss, the derelict and its alien Pilot, and the titular Alien itself.


  • The Book of Alien was the first source to reveal the existence of the famous "Eggmorphing" scene, which would go on to be discussed in several other publications before being released to the public on the Alien: Special Collector's Edition LaserDisc in 1992. A truncated version of the sequence would finally be reinstated in the Director's Cut of Alien.
  • Heavy Metal Communications is the book imprint of Heavy Metal magazine, for which Alien: The Illustrated Story was created.