Yeah, the mud creature is something that we don't see too much of in the novels, which is surprising. I think it was in Voyages of Imagination
where John Ordover (or one of the Pocket editors) remembered how he always wanted this type of story where, from a special effects stand-point on a TV show, it was impossible, but in a book that type of creature was possible because the special effects budget in a book was unlimited! And I also remember Peter David mentioning in his DS9 novel, The Siege
, in either his forward or afterward, about how a book was able to have incredible special effects that were not practical on a TV budget! And Grounded
was one of those books, since, in a way, this sand/clay creature was a re-working of Artemis from Skin Of Evil
, but handled in a much better environment where there were no restraints on what it could and could not do (and even now in the CGI age, I don't think, if TNG were still on, TNG could've produced a show with this creature on their budget).