Alien Woman examines the construction of sex and gender in the four science-fiction films comprising the Alien sage (starring Sigourney Weaver). The Alien saga stands alone in presenting an enduring, self-reliant female protagonist, Ripley, who in the first film ends up as the sole survivor of the beleaguered starship Nostromo. Subsequent writers and directors in the 1980s and 1990s, left to grapple with this strong female protagonist, re-envision Ripley to fit differing social, political, and cultural imperatives for women. Alien Woman focuses on how these writers and directors have re-written Ripley and how each revision informs our understanding of women in science fiction. And by examining the films' creation and commodification of the female hero, the book illustrates how changing attitudes toward woman and the female body help us understand broader societal beliefs and relationships, and provides a useful lens with which to understand woman's place in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Alien Woman will appeal to researchers and teachers in film, mass communication, women's studies, gender studies, and genre studies (particularly science fiction and horror).
[a] look between the lines and behind the scenes to dissect Ripley and her place in movie history. Minnesota Daily, mndaily.com, November 3, 2004
Doing a transtextual analysis of the films, the authors place the films firmly within the cultural landscape that produced them. Gallardo and Smith do a good job analyzing the films, especially the alter ones, and setting them squarely and intelligently within their historical context. Post Script, Winter/Spring 04
"By examining the films' creation and commodification of the female hero, the books illustrates how changing attitudes toward women and the female body help us understand broader societal beliefs and relationships, and provides a useful lens with which to understand woman's place in the late 20th century and early 21st century."" www.aliensconnection.com