If there are real aliens in the vicinity of the distant star 55 Cancri, they’ll be listening to an Earthling audiobook — about aliens — in forty years. On Wednesday, the first audiobook ever was transmitted into space, and it’s part of the Alien film franchise.
Produced by Audible, the audiobook is a dramatization of a book called Alien: River of Pain written by Christopher Golden. The book itself was published in 2014 by Titan Books. The dramatization (think: radio play) features the voice talents of two actors from the Alien movies, Colin Salmon (Alien Vs. Predator) and Bill Hope (Aliens), and well as Alexander Siddig (Game of Thrones, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine). Taking place just before and during the events of the 1986 film Aliens, the plot is all about what is happening on the xenomorph-infested planet LV-426. In real life, “Alien Day” takes place on April 26 because of the “426” in this fictional planet’s designation. This audiobook dramatization is new as of April 26, 2017.
On Alien Day, the recording was broadcast via a digital signal from the Royal Observatory Greenwich in London. Tom Kress, a representative for the Observatory told the Daily Mail that “there is a possibility that our signals could one day be intercepted by intelligent alien lifeforms.” The signal is expected to reach the star 55 Cancri, in the constellation of Cancer by the year 2057. If real aliens respond, the earliest humans on Earth would receive a return signal is 2100.
When reached for comment, the author of the novel, Christopher Golden, told Inverse that the transmission of Alien: River of Pain was unknown to him, until now.
“That’s the first I’ve heard of it,” he said. “But I hope it doesn’t give any real aliens ideas about how to interact with humans.”
The next film in the Alien franchise, Alien: Covenant is out in wide release on May 19.