I blame Spielberg’s “Jaws” for getting me into monster films, for this was the first what you could call horror film I saw, followed quickly by Alien, where I jumped off the sofa directly skyward when Dallas gets got in the tunnel and I very nearly broke my dad’s jaw in two.
But we’re talking books here, aren’t we, so it’ll have to be Killer Crabs by Guy N Smith. Some horror writers say Stephen King got them into horror, or maybe one of the classics Like Ray Bradbury or Richard Matheson, but for me it was the pulpy masterpiece about giant fucking crabs invading the Great Barrier Reef.
I’ll forever remember the cover; lurid, garish and with a car sized crab proudly holding aloft a claw dripping with hot, intestinal blood as it scuttled ashore beneath a bright, all seeing moon. I must have been about eleven or twelve and it cost me about ten pence from a car boot sale on a frosty Sunday morning. From the cover alone I was sold. I practically threw the coin at the stall holder.
The blurb hooked me deeper; “Their claws were strong enough to snap a man in half. Their shells were impenetrable, even by a six-inch naval gun . . .” from this I could reason in my emerging pre-pubescent mind that this was a tale about a monster from the deep. No wait, it’s CRABS. . . That means monsters! This was better than Jaws because there was more than one. There’s a goddamned army of them! Plus you weren’t even safe out of the water, because the crabs can venture on to land (albeit for a short while before they dry out/ asphyxiate/ rarely get blown up). You weren’t even safe in an armoured tank, as the crabs were soon to prove in a show of brute strength. What next? Flying Crabs!? (Writes that down.)
I fell in love with this headlong, reading it in a day on a summer beach holiday (no crabs, no monsters whatsoever), sure it was a bit like Jaws, but it was much more, it had the drama, but not so much it bored me, it had gore which was just so visceral and the perfect fodder for my curious, sick little mind. But it was adult, I felt like I was taking a stepping stone away from being a child after I read Killer Crabs, it might have been the sex, (a lot of it involving a “fat-cocked bastard called Klin”) but that was just part of it. This was the first adult novel I read and it took me away from the Roald Dahl universe I’d become accustomed to. Everybody’s first novel is different, this just happened to be mine. I followed it up with the first book in the series Night of the Crabs, but still found myself loving the sequel more.
After the Crabs series, I pretty much devoured every Guy N Smith novel I could get my grubby little hands on, loving every single yellowing and vanillin tinged paperback with a budding nerdy glee. I still own every one I’ve ever bought and can’t bear to part with them as they’re part of my writing history. I was even lucky enough to interview Guy N Smith last year which blew my mind a little. This was the man who was one of the reasons I got into writing in the first place (I even started my own crab novel when I was thirteen, I never finished it though, one day maybe . . . ), and to speak to him was a great honour as I felt everything had come full circle. This book shaped my early life, affecting what I read and how I write to this day, effectively shaping the man I am today, even if I am starting to resemble Garth Marenghi. Thank you Mr Smith.
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About Nathan Robinson
Nathan Robinson lives in Scunthorpe, England with his darling three year old twin boys, his patient wife/editor and a three legged cat named Dave.
So far he’s had numerous short stories published by www.spinetinglers.co.uk, Rainstorm Press, Knight Watch Press, Pseudopod, Static Movement and many more that he can’t be bothered to mention right now.
He writes best in the dead of night or travelling at 77mph.
He enjoys running, nature documentaries and making pineapple jam.
He is a regular reviewer for www.snakebitehorror.co.uk, which he loves because he gets free books. He likes free books.
He first novel “Starers” was released by Severed Press to rave reviews. This was followed by his short story collection “Devil Let Me Go.” His novella “Ketchup with Everything” is to the first publication from Snakebite Horror Publishing.
Follow news, reviews and the author blues at www.facebook.com/NathanRobinsonWrites
Devil Let Me Go was actually a very pleasant surprise, if I may call “horror” pleasant! The title had me expecting something very much different from what I got, and I most definitely was not disappointed. Even the choice of words used displays Robinson’s high level of intelligence, which in turn is illustrated by his ability to create some very moving and poignant tales. If you enjoy horror, paranormal, supernatural, spooky old houses, strange poisonous spiders, dead bodies raining down from on high, and so on, you will search long and hard before you find a more suitable selection than this collection by Nathan Robinson. I enthusiastically recommend it. Five Stars!
Thirteen horrific stories from Nathan Robinson, including several which are previously unpublished.
The world has ended, but an old man discovers he’s not so alone in 'The House that Creak’d.'
A wronged gangster finds himself beaten, battered and bruised and in the deepest of trouble, can he find his way off 'Top of the Heap?'
A lonely widow is given a reason for being after a horrific natural disaster, but this gift is not all its 'Crack’d' up to be.
Two men meet on a dark and rainy night; one sane, one insane and together on a lonely road that leads to a battle beyond life for love in a destination that is 'Not That Way Home.'
If you love your child how far would you go to protect them? When their life is in the balance would it matter if they’re 'In One Form or Another?'
Lupo is the most despicable of villains, but what would you do 'If you ever meet a girl named Maisie Mae?'
What would a girl do to keep her man? Beth asks, what is love? She knows how far she’d go, so 'Eat your Heart out Lorena.'
It’s time to pack up for the last time, don’t leave anything behind; you’ll need plenty of 'Banana Boxes' to help you on your way.
He’s waiting, he wants something you cherish and he can’t leave without it. Meet a strange stranger that calls himself 'Brian of the Night.' He’s the last person you’d want to meet.
Three lifelong friends on a holiday of a lifetime stumble upon a body, soon they’ll discover why he waited so long in 'The Skeleton Tree.'
An un-deadly army rises up during the night shift; all 'The Chicken in Black ' wants to do is get to the other side.
It might be the time for giving, but it’s still 'Colder than Hell up here.'
Everybody will believe the world has been turned upside down. Something has 'Fallen' . . .
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