John Christopher's "Tripod Trilogy"

Haven’t read those since 6th grade (late 1960’s).

Ordered them from Amazon and read them over the weekend, including the prequel he wrote. They are young adult science fiction.

Wow. What fun, still holds up nicely. Exciting, thought-provoking but with a nice focus on the young man who narrates the tale.

I never did see the BBC production of the story, I understand only the first 2 books were filmed before they pulled the plug and cancelled it, I may have to check those out.

I remember enjoying the serialized comic in Boy’s Life when I was a scout. Probably The White Mountains but might have been a sequel. Don’t remember much else without doing a google search.

Happy Capping Day to you all!!

Hail the Tripod!

I just bought these for my 10 year old son. He’s loving them.

I remember those. They were quite good. Don’t treat your pet human with caring, he’ll betray you and kill you!

I’m going to give them to my nephew, he’s 7 years old now, so I’ll wait a couple of years.

I read them when I was 10 or so (back in the 1970s), after watching a PBS show in school about “The White Mountains” (probably “Cover to Cover” with John Robbins), in which an excerpt from the book was read while Robbins would sketch an illustration of that scene.

I then checked all three books out of the local library, and devoured them. They were probably among the first sci-fi books I ever read. I remember reading them once more as a teenager, but haven’t read (or even seen) them in decades now. May need to go back and give them a re-read. :slight_smile:

Read the books and enjoyed them, as well as his other trilogy (starts with The Prince in Waiting).

But I would love a collection of the Boy’s Life comic adaptation. Does such a thing exist?

I really must remember to buy a copy for my own kids, if I ever have any. Perhaps a souvenir figurine of a Tripod crushing a felon as well?

I did not know until recently that there was a prequel to the series, I have not read the book. Is it worth it?

The White Mountains, yes. I was a scout at the time as well.

Sure - I don’t think it’s as strong as the trilogy, but that’s not due to any weakness of the writing. The problem, such as it is, is that the prequel is set in the “present-day”, and is a relatively straightforward alien invasion story (with the twist that the aliens win, of course). There isn’t the sort of world-building that made the trilogy proper so interesting.

That being said, the prequel itself was a lot of fun. It was neat to see how insidiously the Tripod mind-control chipped away at the human institutions fighting the threat - things just kind of slowly go wrong, and then they go wrong fast. Reminded me a bit of Stephen King’s “The Stand” in that way. And the novel does a good job of dealing with the fact that, in the real world, giant tripods actually aren’t that ideal as fighting vehicles - the Tripods need mind-control in order to win.

It’s called “When The Tripods Came” written in 1988. Not bad, gives the details of how they conquered, which was only hinted at in the “White Mountains”. But read it last, it’s more fun that way.

It’s also written from a young man’s perspective as he and his family endure the society they know falling aprt, and how they survive and become the people that lead to Julius, if you know what I mean.

I remember reading them in the late 1960s. It was easy to snag a copy of The White Mountains and The City of Gold and Lead, but getting my hands on The Pool of Fire, once I’d finished the other two, was like pulling teeth for some reason. Finally got it inter-library loan after a hell of a wait.

Fourth grader at the time. Perfect.

I believe the Boy’s Life serialization was my first introduction to these books, as well. I read them all through school and later I had to seek 'em out for myself, I still haul them out and re-read them occasionally. Terrific SF for kids and adults alike, really, and a great way to get people hooked on reading juvenile dystopian SF, if that’s a genre you want to get people hooked on. I love the way Christopher ends the last book.

Never saw the BBC adaptation. I think the Boy’s Life strip was drawn by Frank Bolle, who now draws “Apartment 3-G”.

I loved those books!! I first discovered them in 6th grade (1977) (opened the juvenile card catalog to Science Fiction, and Christopher, John was the first card that I flipped to) and reread them several times in high school. I can date the Boy’s Life adaptation to the 1979/1980 time frame, as I saw the beginning, but never read the end because I dropped out of Scouts in the Spring in 1980.

This thread just blew one of my pet theories out the water. I first heard about the prequel book in 2003, and read the copyright date as 1998. I assumed that “The Trippy Show”, the inane children’s show that the aliens broadcast to launch their mind control campaign, was a thinly veiled parody of “Teletubbies”, which started the year before in 1997. When I read BMalion’s post saying the book was published in 1988, I assumed it was a typo, but double checking elsewhere on the web shows that it was indeed published in 1988, a good 9 years before Teletubbies. Stupid facts ruining my clever literary theories!!

I volunteer in my sons’ elementary school library, and I was sad to see that none of the series has been checked out since 1998.:frowning: I even tried recommending them to kids who are looking for something when all the Harry Potter/Percy Jackson/Star Wars books are checked out, which is often, but no takers so far.

I loved those as a kid, and recently re-read them. Even when I was nine, the total absence of any strong female characters bothered me, and it’s even more obvious now that I’m an adult. Setting that aside, they’re still a really fun read.

I loved those as a kid, and re-read them as an adult and thought they held up. I agree with GilaB, though, about the lack of strong female characters. I put it down to the time they were written.

I read everything I could get my hands on by John Christopher (Samuel Youd) when I was a kid. I was surprised to check his Wikipedia page recently and find out he actually wrote nearly 60 books. I think everything but the tripods is out of print now. Sad.

I guess I was lucky that my local library as a kid carried as much Christopher as it did:

No Blade of Grass
Tripods Trilogy (and prequel)
The Lotus Caves
The Guardians
Sword of the Spirits Trilogy
Dom and Va
Empty World
Fireball Trilogy

But, yeah, there are rarely any notable female characters, and sometimes just no females at all.