Giant killer crabs invade Manhattan.
Big beasties fascinate me.
Some of that fascination stems from early film viewing. I remember being taken to the cinema to see The Blob. I couldn't have been more than seven or eight, and it scared the crap out of me. The original incarnation of Kong has been with me since around the same time. Similarly, I remember the BBC showing re-runs of classic creature features late on Friday nights, and THEM! in particular left a mark on my psyche. I've also got a Biological Sciences degree, and even while watching said movies, I'm usually trying to figure out how the creature would actually work in nature -- what would it eat? How would it procreate? What effect would it have on the environment around it?
On top of that, I have an interest in cryptozoology, of creatures that live just out of sight of humankind, and of the myriad possibilities that nature, and man's dabbling with it, can throw up.
Then there's Guy N Smith, who the book is dedicated to. Guy's killer crabs are remorseless, relentless and the kind of killing machine you can't help but love.
All those things were going round in my head when I first sat down to write the short novel Crustaceans.
As I started I only knew one or two things -- that there would be whales involved somewhere, and that the Crabs would be in the tunnels and sewers under the city. After some fascinating research into the history of excavations and tunneling I made a start.
I worked out a full ecological profile and lifecycle for my "beasts" but most of that went by the board as the plot took over. It went quickly, and I found myself enjoying it immensely. It runs in my head like a movie, and I'd love to see it on the big screen one day, or as a comic book. That's how I think of it -- big, brash and bloody.
It's definitely horror, but it's also Science-fiction, in a very 1950's B-Movie kind of way, a creature-feature if you like. It runs in my head like one of those lurid early technicolor monster movies, and readers will have fun thinking of it that way themselves.
Back to Guy N Smith again. This book began life as a possible collaboration with Guy which, for several reasons, didn't pan out. But the Crabs are all his, and without his original books, this one would never exist. (Indeed there are a few allusions in the book to the originals, a wee homage on my part.) I'd just like to thank Guy, for the inspiration and, more than that, for the fun he's given us in his books over his years of writing.
If you are a monster kid like I am you will absolutely love "Crustaceans", if you are not a monster kid reading "Crustaceans" will probably turn you into one, either way read "Crustaceans" it will probably be the most fun you ever had reading a book and I give it my highest recommendation. -- FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND
Fans of the old creature feature movies and killer animal books will find it to be a wonderful guilty pleasure. Recommended. -- † THE MONSTER LIBRARIAN
At bottom, itís a fun book, written to show the reader a good time and nothing more than that, on which level it succeeds admirably well. I thoroughly enjoyed its pulp(ish) pleasures. -- † Peter Tennant, BLACK STATIC #31