The Pitch Black novelization was the official novel adaptation of the film Pitch Black, and published by St. Martin's Paperbacks in February 2000. It was written by Frank Lauria and is based on the screenplay by Jim & Ken Wheat and David Twohy.
A fantastic futuristic thriller of a deadly new frontier.
A rogue comet spears an earth-bound commercial spacecraft, forcing it to plummet to the surface of an unknown planet. With the captain dead, a brave pilot performs a perilous crash landing. Other than three suns-which create perpetual light-and a slight oxygen deficiency, a search party discovers that the planet isn't much different from Earth...until they stumble across a ghostly settlement littered with the human remains of geologists who mysteriously perished exactly sixty years ago. And the most horrific discovery of all: below the surface of the soil, where darkness reigns, live hungry predators with a deadly appetite.
Once every sixty years a solar eclipse darkens the skies and allows the blood-hungry creatures to escape from their underground tomb. With only hours before total blackout, everyone must unite in a race to raise the geologists' abandoned ship before becoming a long-awaited meal...
Differences from the film
- Riddick's backstory is elaborated upon, describing him as a highly trained Company soldier who attempted to blow the whistle on black ops wetwork, and was branded a criminal.
- Jack is introduced as Audrey, and known to be a young (not teenage) girl from the beginning.
- "Imam" is treated as a name instead of a title, and is a cleric of a sect called Chrislam, which reveres Muhammed as Allah's son and the messiah.
- The Imam's companions are male pilgrims aged from teen to adult, instead of young acolytes.
- Zeke and Shazza are galactic adventurers, with a twenty-year partnership.
- The emergency escape skiff requires extensive repairs, as well as power cells from the crashed ship, before it can be used.
- During the sled run they use alcohol-burning torches instead of glowing tubes; there is also a sequence when the girl hides underneath it, and they have to climb a pile of dead bioraptors.
- Once the survivors reach space, Riddick poses the "lots of questions" dilemma, implying he will kill them and escape alone - only to pin on Johns' badge and tell them that Riddick died back on the planet.