There Was A Novel Based On 1994’s X-Com

There Was A Novel Based On 1994’s X-Com

I never saw this on a shelf as kid. I know this, because if I had, I’d have bought it.

RPS’ Alec Meer has just put down the paperback adaptation of Microprose’s 1994 strategy classic X-Com: UFO defence (or UFO: Enemy Unknown), this year remade as XCOM, and while he reports it’s a bit of a dull affair, I’m just impressed there was a novel written at all.

I mean, there are 1994 video games that were perfect for novelization. Blackthorne, for one. Or Final Fantasy VI. Or even Jazz Jackrabbit. But a game that was half turn-based strategy, half global management sim? I wouldn’t have picked it.

Someone did, though. As these Amazon reviews show:

As a big fan of X-COM (I play X-COM 2 once to completion every January) I stumbled across this book and had no choice but to purchase it. It is possible I was being mind controlled by space aliens at that point.

Recognizing Diane Duane from some of her other work (Star Trek novels, mostly) was a bonus.

Having read the book (it’s a quick read) I was left a little disappointed. In terms of content, it’s the first half of a novel that was #1 in a series of several. In reality, it’s the only X-COM novel I could find.

Not only is the book itself thin, the plot and the characters are too. How thin? Well let me say that sometimes the game mechanics shine through them. If you are looking for true Sci-Fi, or anything heavier than a McDonalds’ Value meal, look elsewhere. Unless you are nostalgic for the video game, or need something to fill out your time in the bathroom then this book may be worth a read. Personally, I recommend finding something meatier.

I loved X-COM the book and the game, I wish more books were written and I love the game. I would say a movie about X-COM would rake in the dough literally. I wish it were longer and there should have been a sequal but hey I am happy with it anyway. Hope everyone else enjoys it.

This is one of the better books I have read. It centres on the building of a new base in Andermatt, Sweden. During the

building of the base the aliens find out and the X-Com team has to go into overtime to stop the advancing aliens. All in

all this book is great for those who like Sci-Fi. The only problem I can find is that there isn’t another one coming.

Being so long out of print it’s understandably hard to pin down a copy. Unless you’ve got more money than this thing is probably worth.

Wot I Read — X-COM UFO defence, A Novel [Rock Paper Shotgun]


  • Heh… I’ve still got a copy in the back of the bookshelf somewhere. It’s pure pulp, but I still pull it out for a easy read once in a while…

    Though I really have to question that last review… since how do you get Sweden confused with Switzerland when you’re doing a book review?

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