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Colossus and the Crab Mass Market Paperback – 1 Aug 1977

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
for every beginning, there is an end.... 30 Jan 2005
By Rottenberg's rotten book review - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This third and final end of the Colossus trilogy achieves an end for ends sake. There are no loose ends, but then again, it takes little effort to wrap up the slim complexities of the last book. While "Fall of Colossus" was set a few years after the last book left off, "Crab" picks up immediately at the end of the last book's cliffhanger. In "Fall", Forbin, creator of the world-controlling Colossus destroyed his machine using a logical problem designed by highly advanced Martians. Ready to pick up the pieces now that the "Master" is no more (Blake, Forbin's reluctant colleague and firm enemy of the machine, is more than ready - dispatching automated battle-fleets to NY to bring the UN into submission), Forbin began to wonder if perhaps the Martians had some agenda of their own in abetting the crash of the computer. In "Crab" Forbin meets the Martians who reveal their own plans - they need oxygen, a lot of it. Their conservative estimates call for half of Earth's atmospheric supply. (Though the Martians can neutralize gravity, no explanation is offered for their inability to fashion oxygen using raw elements we can guess abundant in our solar system.) Stalling for time, and perhaps an opportunity to bring Colossus back to life, Forbin offers to build the Martians a huge device that will collect the needed oxygen and compress it to a mind-boggling 5 tons to the cubic centimeter. (The Martians, advanced as they are, are sufficiently down-to-earth to confuse metric and non-metric terms in a single measurement.) Meanwhile, Forbin teams up with Blake on an impossible mission to restore Colossus, with an eye towards defeating the Martians and ending a plan that may mean death for much of the world's population.

I had already read fall, so I had no choice but finish the job here with "Crab". The simplest thing you can say is that "Crab", like "Fall" is simply skimworthy. You're curious about how it all ends, but the story never makes the trip worthwhile. Once the Martians appear, we get the standard spiel that we got from Colossus - man is a primitive and self-destructive species, so it can't be helped if so many of them must die for a higher aim. For a series of events that will sharply alter the fates of the world, "Crab" spends little time investigating how life proceeds under the aegis of the machine (or how things changed much with his downfall). Characters don't develop, and the fate of Forbin's wife, one of the major motivators of the last book, seems to have been forgotten entirely. Worse, characters don't seem to react to the events of the story - there are vague hints that the pro-machine "Sect" has become a target for reactionaries like "The Fellowship", yet we see no characters who lead that reactionary upsurge, nor those who lead the counter-reaction when Forbin re-establishes control. The book never works up a theme which is defined by the end of the story, and the most palpable feeling on the last page is "okay, what's next?"
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Not an Easy Volume to find! 2 May 2014
By Swirly Girl - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I was pleased to receive my copy of, "Colossus and the Crab", by D.F. Jones. It is the one book in the "Colossus" Series that is not easy to find. If you are reading the series and happen to find a copy of this book available, grab it!
I am glad to be able to get a chance to read ... 1 Oct 2014
By Praise Lady - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have searched for this book for a number of years. I am glad to be able to get a chance to read it.
6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Colossus and the Crab 22 Dec 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Collosus and the Crab is a fitting epitaph for the Colossus trilogy by D.F. Jones. It is surprising that Mr. Jones did not achieve more acclaim for his work. Each book in the series can stand alone as classic science fiction from the 1960s. Yet the final work is especially enjoyable because the author shows that he has not used up his creative ideas and twists in the first two volumes. Mr. Jones addresses the issues of war, freedom, sex, religion, survival, and what it means to be human in a unique and philosophical fashion, while not sacrificing the action plot or the reader's interest.
A decent wrap-up. 24 Aug 2014
By Alan C Hoppes - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Interesting, but I didn't like the treatment of Forbin.
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