The U.S.S.R. grabs the spotlight with “The Island of the Crabs” by A. Dneprov, an issue highlight. Isolated on a tropical island, an engineer conducts a Darwinian experiment with self-replicating, evolving robotic crabs.
Cookling squatted down and began to chortle.
“Will you stop grimacing like an idiot!” I shouted. “Where did the second crab come from?”
“It was born! It was born during the night!”
Theoretically, the crab’s military potential could be unlimited, but the engineer soon learns that playing Mother Nature is not for the ill equipped.
Anatoly Dneprov (1919–1975) was a distinguished physicist who worked at an institute of the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences. His best known story is “The Maxwell Equations,” published in English in 1963. His short story “Formula for Immortality” was included in the New Soviet Science Fiction anthology (1979), edited by Theodore Sturgeon.