SELECT * FROM uv_BookReviewRollup WHERE recordnum = 1445 CROGIAN, by John Leahy Book Review |

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CROGIAN, by John Leahy
Genre: Science Horror
Publisher: Create Space
Published: 2012
Review Posted: 6/1/2013
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated

CROGIAN, by John Leahy

Book Review by Allen Stein

Have you read this book?

CROGIAN is a science fiction - horror novel.There are many familiar elements in this novel, particularly the badgize' Evil Government Conspiracy, centered on a psychopathic Air Force colonel, David Larrigan, but with support from the Pentagon, where visions of super weapons dance in their heads.

It seems that a drunken miner in very rural Alaska finds an alien spacecraft. Half the nearby village ends up helping him dig it up, only to be wiped out by the air force when somebody alerts the Pentagon. The air force finishes digging it up, and loses a couple of men fiddling with it. Most of it is toast, but the nose cone, connected to enough power, makes a stargate. Here someone has an unexpected fit of good sense, and they put it space for further experiments. When a planet is seen close by through the gate, they send through an unscrewed spacecraft (another fit of good sense!).

Much of this part is done with few or no quotation marks, which was annoying.

Oh, what a world, what a world! Giant plants and giant bugs! Someone makes the unfortunately correct guess that there's something in the soil there that's causing the giantism. They call it Grower, but later change the name to CROGIAN, short for CReator Of GIANts. They bring back a sample (not good), isolate the active compound (not good), and make it stronger (worse). Then they experiment with it in an enclosed silo, equipped with provision to destroy the contents. More good sense - what are horror novels coming to? And it works (not much story if it didn't.). After they lose a couple more people, they torch the place. Don't worry, this is the last fit of good sense in the book.

They set up a factory to make the stuff. In space? In the Antarctic? On an isolated rock in the Pacific? What would be the story in that? (H. G. Wells managed it.) NO!

They do it in a populated area of southeast Texas! And of course it gets out. Oh, and they've "improved" it again. Cockroaches ten feet long! Lizards a hundred feet long!

Grass three hundred feet high! Pecan trees four hundred feet high!

Our heroes (sort of), a farm family, wake up the morning after the breach, and things are already huge. In less than one night. Do they immediately head for New Hampshire or Oregon? NO! The good guys are just as stupid as the badgize! This sets some of them up to be eaten, and the rest to have a Very Bad Time the next few days.

Science alert: if you're about to wet your shorts at the sheer horror of it all, don't. A living organism is a relatively sensitive balance between surface area and volume, between the tissues' need for oxygen and nutrients, and the ability of the respiratory, digestive, and circulatory (in fish and reptiles) systems to supply them. You can't just take an organism that has evolved, usually over millions of years, to be a few inches long, expand it (in a hurry, too) to ten feet long, and expect it to live. Yes, there were dinosaurs, and some fairly impressive bugs when all life was in the seas. But: These things were different species, evolved to those sizes over time, and many of them were alive when the oxygen content of the atmosphere was substantially higher. And the bugs weren't nearly as big as those in CROGIAN.

The stuff doesn't *usually* work on birds and mammals, except to poison them if they eat or drink it, although there are the Houston Giant (once human), and the mile long whale. Oops.

The general idea is familiar to anyone who's seen "Them" or "The Black Scorpion."

Unfortunately for the people in the story, and the readers, the worst of the badgize, Col. Larrigan, survives, with two cylinders of CROGIAN. Can you say, "Sequel?"

I thought you could.
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