Alien: River of Pain is an upcoming novel written by Christopher Golden and set to be published by Titan Books. A sequel to Alien: Sea of Sorrows, the novel will conclude the trilogy and will be related to Alien and Aliens, as with the other two books in the trilogy. The book is currently slated for a November 2014 release.
Aboard the USCSS Nostromo, Ellen Ripley confronts Ash over his decision to allow Kane back aboard the ship despite the parasitic organism attached to him. Several years later, planetary engineers begin efforts to colonize LV-426, now known as Acheron, struggling against the moon's unstable geology. Despite their struggles, the process of converting the planetoid's atmosphere to a more stable one eventually gets underway, and the colony of Hadley's Hope is established. On March 15th, 2173, Hadley's Hope welcomes its first newborn in the form of Rebecca Jorden, an event celebrated by the entire populace.
Six years later, Captain Brackett arrives on Acheron to take up his posting as the new commanding officer for the small detachment of Colonial Marines stationed there for security. His arrival sparks conflict between Rebecca Jorden's parents, Russ and Anne, on account of Anne's previous relationship with Brackett and Brackett's unresolved feelings for her. Brackett's posting is further complicated when he learns that Marines are being sent out on civilian prospecting missions, an act that he sees as contravening standard operating procedures. Before he can raise his concerns with colony administrator Al Simpson, one such prospecting expedition becomes stranded inside a malfunctioning Atmosphere Processor by a storm. Brackett organises a rescue mission, discovering that one of the prospectors has suffered a serious mental breakdown, driven insane by the stress of harsh colony life and a paranoid fear of imminent disaster. The colonist is shot dead by Draper when he threatens another Marine's life, and the team evacuate moments before the malfunctioning processor destroys itself.
Back at Hadley's Hope, Brackett refuses to allow any more Marines to accompany civilian prospecting missions, a decision that brings him into conflict with the Weyland-Yutani research team stationed at the colony, headed by Dr. Reese. However, until clarification can be received from Brackett's superiors on Earth, they have no choice but to accept his orders. A such, when a message is received from Carter Burke detailing specific co-ordinates that are to be investigated, Russ and Anne Jorden are sent out without escort, electing to take their children Timmy and Rebecca — who has come to be known as Newt — along with them. They discover the derelict spacecraft that the Nostromo crew had stumbled upon fifty-seven years previously, and inside Russ is attacked and subdued by a Facehugger.
Russ is rushed back to the colony and placed under supervision in the medical bay and Brackett quarantines the derelict and places several Marine guards there to prevent anyone else entering the ship. Even so, several members of an investigative team are also attacked by Facehuggers. Twenty-four hours later, the Chestburster inside Russ emerges, killing him, before escaping into the colony's ventilation system. A hunt for the creature is mounted, but the soon fully-grown Xenomorph begins killing and abducting colonists. The situation worsens when more of the creatures hatch from the other impregnated colonists.
The situation rapidly spirals out of control as more and more individuals are captured. The surviving colonists are grouped together in a single location for their own safety, with Marines to guard them. Brackett discovers that Reese and the other Weyland-Yutani scientists had anticipated an alien discovery on Acheron, and that this was in fact the reason the colony was established in the first place. Brackett also deduces that the Xenomorphs are taking their live victims to a Hive where they are being as hosts for more creatures, and by tracking the mission colonists' PDTs the Hive is located inside the main Atmosphere Processor. Brackett, Simpson and a Weyland-Yutani scientist named Dr. Hidalgo lead a mission to exterminate the Xenomorphs, but the team is decimated by the creatures almost immediately. During the chaos, a dying Hidalgo reveals to Brackett that the science team, not knowing what exactly they might find on Acheron, hid a secret escape ship in the colony that can now be used to flee.
Meanwhile, several colonists elect to evacuate the area where they are hiding and move somewhere safer, Anne, Timmy and Newt among them. They make their stand in the operations center, but both groups are quickly overrun by the Xenomorphs. Anne and Timmy are killed, but Newt escapes into the ventilation system. Brackett arrives too late, and while he saves a girl he initially believes to be Newt, he discovers to his dismay that it is in fact another young child named Luisa. With the Xenomorphs swarming all over the colony, Bracket takes Luisa and, with a Marine named Paris, makes for the scientists' escape shuttle, encountering the last surviving member of the team, Dr. Mori, along the way. The survivors successfully flee the ravaged colony, with Brackett vowing to take the fight to Weyland-Yutani for what they have done.
Back on Earth, Burke and Lieutenant Gorman visit Ellen Ripley to inform her of the loss of contact with Hadley's Hope.