Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Monster From Earth's End by Murray Leinster

The Monster From Earth's End
by Murray Leinster
1959 Fawcett Gold Medal

Cut-rate "Who Goes There?" / The Thing From Another World knockoff.  A plane makes an emergency landing on an Antarctic base.  The pilot commits suicide.  The rest of the passengers and a penguin are missing.  Clearly, some kind of creature attacked them all.

A bit of a jump in logic, but we're not done!  Most of the book is the base crew endlessly speculating what manner of creature it might be.  It must be nocturnal - is it attracted to light?  Is it repelled by light?  The dog made a noise - quick!  Set everything on fire with molotov cocktails!

Finally something kind of happens in the way of little venus flytrap plants running around attacking people.  These midgets, as their called, aren't well described and don't cause a lot of damage.  Frustratingly, everyone thinks these little monsters are completely unrelated to the "boojer" beast they've been making up in their head.  Are there 5 or 7 of them?  Are they transparent?

Nope, they're tree monsters.  Barely described walking trees that can barely move that a man with a broken ankle manages to limp away from.  The closest thing to a thing happening in this book is the epilogue, which weirdly repeats the the scene with the monster getting loose in a cargo plane.

I've wanted to read some 50s monster sci-fi that had the same vibe as the movies, but without the budgetary constraints.  This was not it.

It was made into The Navy vs the Night Monsters, a 50s monster movie made way too late in 1966.

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