Colossus and the Crab Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jun 1980
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Having described the computer-run future he created in his last novel, The Fall of Colossus, in this one Jones concentrates on the plot and his antagonists. The Martians he describes are well imagined by the author, and many of the best parts of the novel center around their interaction with Forbin and his efforts to comprehend them. In many ways they are better realized than most of the humans, as some of the secondary characters are little better than ethnic stereotypes. The challenge the aliens pose is also well developed, providing an impending threat that Jones conveys well with effective visualization and pacing. In all it provides for a satisfying end for an occasionally overshadowed, yet enjoyably entertaining series.
Colossus and The Crab, published in 1977, is book 3 of the Colossus series and is a nice end to the Colossus trilogy. Many many authors take on hefty subjects in their novels and are just not able to follow through with a satisfying ending. That is not the case with this series.
So the Super Computer Overlord entity, Colossus, is brought to um compliance using information from a source/entity that Colossus was not aware of. However there was an ulterior motive to bring about action from this information so Mankind finds itself jumping from the frying pan of Colossus's regime to an even worse fire of another regime that will lead to Mankind's collapse.
So now Colossus can become Mankind's savior in combating this new worse threat. Wow! Jones style may not be liked by many, but his concepts are worthy. None of the parties involved are innately awful or cruel for cruelties sake, but have their own needs and vision on how to achieve this. Thus comes the possibility of negotiation if all parties can achieve what they want to achieve. For Mankind it's the avoidance of extinction, for the third entity it's the avoidance of *it's* extinction, and for Colossus it's it's continuing sentience. DF Jones really comes up with an elegant conclusion, and for the dystopian outlook of the previous two novels, one that is surprisingly upbeat.
Thus concludes the Colossus trilogy satisfyingly. Some reviewers didn't like the last two books of the series, and that's fine for their opinion. I for one thought they were worthwhile and it was much better for them to have been written than not.
Like most trilogies, the second and third books should probably have been never written since they overshadow the initial book so much. They declined in interest very quickly. Given these were written in the 1970s, very little forethought went into the books and research was at a minimum. There were just too many things in the 22nd century that just did not fit ... Teletypes, radios, these things lacked imagination.
All in all, it was strange reading these books having seen the movie which stands on its own as the first book should have.