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Old March 13 2012, 12:22 AM   #1
Location: New York City
the literature/sources that "Alien" (1979) borrowed from

Ridley Scott's horror film set in space Alien in 1979 was a great horror film and also a good scifi film.
Where did this story come from?

The Alien wikipedia entry at least mentions:
In the decades since its original release critics have analyzed and acknowledged Alien's roots in earlier works of fiction. It has been noted as sharing thematic similarities with earlier science fiction films such as The Thing from Another World (1951)[12][89] and It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958),[19][63] as well as a kinship with other 1970s horror films such as Jaws (1975) and Halloween (1978).[12] Literary connections have also been suggested, including thematic comparisons to And Then There Were None (1939).[89] Many critics have also suggested that the film derives in part from A. E. van Vogt's The Voyage of the Space Beagle (1950), particularly the stories The Black Destroyer, in which a cat-like alien infiltrates the ship and hunts the crew, and Discord in Scarlet, in which an alien implants parasitic eggs inside crew members which then hatch and eat their way out.[90] O'Bannon, however, denies that this was a source of his inspiration for Alien's story.[15] Van Vogt actually initiated a lawsuit against 20th Century Fox over the similarities, but Fox settled out of court.[91] Writer David McIntee has also noted similarities to the Doctor Who episode "The Ark in Space" (1975), in which an insectoid queen alien lays larvae inside humans which later eat their way out, a life cycle inspired by that of the ichneumons wasp.[15]
Very interesting. Just finding this out.
van Vogt attempted to sue the makers of Alien for plagiarism. They denied any connection, but did settle out of court.
Alien's family tree extends back to A.E. Van Vogt, Astounding Science Fiction, It,The Terror from Beyond Space and Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, made into a great film in 1945

"Regarding the It!/Alien controversy, Jerome Bixby,author of the screenplay for It! says the following: 'As for the flap over Alien and It!...In Alien and my story, the creature 1)is virtually invulnerable; 2)hides in the ventilation-system; 3)drives the ship's small crew this way and that, gobbling them one by one with contempt for every obstacle; 4)is zapped by asphyxiation in space at the end. I understand that a degree of affectionate homage was paid to It!

Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None plot:
Although the guests are the only people on the island, each is murdered one by one, in a manner paralleling, inexorably and sometimes grotesquely,

going into detail:
A.E. Van Vogt's story Black Destroyer appeared in the July 1939 issue of Astounding Science Fiction It was his first published work. The creature Coeurl - the last survivor of a planet's advanced civilization - is discovered by the space exploration ship Space Beagle and taken aboard. Naturally, Coeurl isn't the dumb creature the men take him for but a cunning, intelligent cat-like creature - and before long Coeurl's wreaking havoc aboard the ship, which he's trying to take over. The crew of the Space Beagle eventually trick the creature into killing itself and the day is saved.

Discord in Scarlet apeared in the December 1939 ASF and this time the Space Beagle runs into Ixtl, a scarlet, tentacled thing - the last survivor of its race that has been drifting in space for eons - that needs a host to harbor its single remaining egg. It implants the egg in a human and then the race is on to save the host and the Space Beagle and eliminate poor 'ol Ixtl. Which is done, of course.

Van Vogt's novel The Voyage of the Space Beagle incorporated these two stories in addition to M33 In Andromeda along with new material
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