Introduction

People of the Black Coast” really is science fiction, with Howard flinging scientific theories about the brain, references to evolution, and other traditional SF trappings at us, but it has that Howard twist: science and intellectualism in this story are physically and morally degenerate! On this black island is a hidden city inhabited by an intelligent non-mammalian race, people who look like crabs the size of horses! Howard tells us that these crab people are highly advanced, that the difference between their forms and that of a spider crab is like the difference between that of a European and an African, with the one obviously a more highly developed and superior version of the other. Our narrator can sense the crabs’ super intelligence and utter contempt for him–the crab people look at our hero as we humans look at an insect!

This one was first published in a “Special Moon Issue” of Spaceway, a magazine edited by William Crawford

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