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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Killer Crabs!

Guy N. Smith's classic series of killer crustaceans on the rampage. Was Jaws the inspiration for these "nature on the rampage" books that came out in the late 1970s? I've never worked out the timeline. James Herbert's The Rats pre-dated the Crabs by at least a year, but Herbert has said that he was inspired by Dracula rather than Jaws.

Night of the Crabs
New English Library 0450-02942-5, July 1976, 144pp, 60p.
The Welsh coast basks in summer tranquility. Then the 'drownings' begin.
__But not until the monstrous crustaceans crawl ashore, their pincers poised for destruction, does the world understand the threat it faces.
__A seafood cocktail for the strongest stomachs.
Killer Crabs
New English Library 0450-03817-3, May 1978, 158pp, 75p.
Their claws were strong enough to snap a man in half. Their shells were impenetrable, even by a six-inch naval gun. Their eyes glowed with malevolence, and as they tore their victims limb from limb they seemed to grin with sadistic delight. Never before had the world seen such an army.
__They started with the odd fisherman. Then they tackled bigger boats. Finally they moved on to land, and spread death and terror before them. The occupants of Hayman Island had just one hope: if they could find the crabs' spawning ground they might have a chance. There were three weeks before the full moon. After that the crabs' numbers would be beyond control and they would be truly invincible...
The Origin of the Crabs
New English Library 0450-04388-6, June 1979.
---- [2nd imp.] March 1984, 157pp, £1.50.
Rouse suddenly let out a piercing scream releasing him from the paralysis of sheer terror in which those malevolent red eyes had held him. In panic he turned and tried to scramble up the slippery rockface. But his feet could not grip; slowly he began sliding back down, ever closer to the nightmarish form that was rapidly approaching, its huge claws waving in the air, its powerful jaws opening and closing in anticipation...
Crabs on the Rampage
New English Library 0450-05251-6, September 1981, 157pp, £1.25. Cover photo: Bruce Coleman Ltd. (Colour recreation: Lawrence Back)
They had come back.
One man only saw them and him they killed, hunted him down through the dense reed beds, trapped him, drove him mad with terror before they pulled him to pieces and ate every bloodied shred of his body.
__And then it was quiet again for a little while.
__Until they came ashore again, in their hundreds, their bodies reeking with the malignant, cancerous disease that was within them. The disease that was driving them mad with pain, mad to kill, to wipe out every living thing in their path.
__On that holiday beach were hundreds of men, women and children. Food.
Crabs' Moon
New English Library 0450-05694-5, April 1984.
An armourned underwater army, they lay off-shore, watching, waiting. Then, moon-driven, coldly mad in their need to destroy, to kill, to eat, they edged forward.
__The quiet night sounds: gentle waves lapping and hissing on the shingle, the warm on-shore breeze ruffling through the grassy dunes, lights, laughter and music from the unsuspecting holiday camp, the diesel thump, thump of a last, late fishing boat.
__Tensed, shuddering and eager in their hunger, they lurched out of the water. In their hundreds, huge and evil, they crawled, lumbered up the beach, feeling their way towards their prey.
__The new night sounds, the clicking of giant claws, the scraping of giant bodies across the rocks, screams of terror, screams of agony suddenly stilled, the crunch of bones, the sickening sucking and munching as they gorged on human flesh.
__The crabs had invaded once more...
Crabs: The Human Sacrifice
New English Library 0450-42139-2, 1988.


Unknown said...

This would totally qualify as a SyFy movie.

Dr Andy Oliver said...

Great stuff. Brings back lots of memories. I read a lot of Guy N Smith books, altougth only one form the crab series I as I recall. .