6mm-Minis is Maksim-Smelchak's blog to discuss gaming, miniatures, books, movies, food, Israel, Judaism, life in general and other funny crud. My favorite scale of miniatures is 6mm, which is also called 1/285 or 1/300 scale. I enjoy many different kinds of games including ancients, Napoleonics, WWI, WWII, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Car Wars AKA Autoduel (a sort of crash'n'derby automobile combat game), 6mm Godzilla AKA Kaiju games, and science fiction games. I'm open to everything though!

Friday, August 12, 2005

NOVELS: "The Tripod" series by John Christopher.

NOVELS: "The Tripod" series by John Christopher.

Hi Everyone,

As many of you know, there have been a number of "War of the Worlds" movies that have come out recently (Spielberg, Pendragon, Assylum Studios) and that has prompted a lot of interest in the concept of alien invaders and alien machinery. Following this interest, I have reread the H.G. Wells classic and have been reading other novels inspired by "War of the Worlds."

One of the works I cam across is called "The Tripod" series by John Christopher and I purchased it for a pittance and am enjoying it immensely having finished the prequel and the first novel and working my way towards the second novel.


Here's a link to an Amazon.com entry for the series:


"When the Tripods Came" PREQUEL:
- This book tells the story of the invasion, which is very different from what H.G. Wells or any of the current films have portrayed. In Christoper's not-too-distant future (The novels appear to have been written in the late 1960s), strange three-legged machines descend on Earth, only to be destroyed by militaries in the UK, USA and USSR. Humanity has won or has it? Then a mysterious TV show featuring Tripod characters mesmerizes many people, followed by a second wave of Tripods -- these welcomed by the eager citizens of Earth. Laurie AKA Lawrence and his friends must try to escape....


"The White Mountains" BOOK ONE:
- This book takes place long after the prequel... perhaps as much as a hundred years or much more. Earth has lost disease, war, hunger, misery... and freedom. Though people go about their everyday activities, the enormous alien Tripods have effectively not only stagnated human civilization through the use of mind-controlling Caps, but retroverted technology to a level similar to the Medieval Ages. Thirteen-year-old Will is creeped-out by the Caps (which has evolved into a rite of passage with children being capped at the tender old age of fourteen) and when he learns of a human stronghold unaffected by the Tripods, he and his unwelcome cousin set out to find them.


"The City of Gold And Lead" BOOK TWO:
- I've only just started reading this novel and can't comment on it yet.


"The Pool of Fire" BOOK THREE:
- I haven't read this book yet.


- John Christopher is known for writing sci-fi for adults so a children's novel is a very different sort of genre for those used to his other books. He specializes in sci-fi and post-apocalyptic novels and "The Tripod" series reflects these specialties. While maintaining a nice pace, Christopher has deeper messages embedded in the text... messages about people and humanity.
- I've found the novels to remind me much of the old TSR game Gamma World (A post-apocalyptic sci-fi game) and have really enjoyed the books so far. Being in a medieval world with the relics of the "ancients" nearby provides for points of familiarity for a young reader while the protagonists have no idea what modern technologies are such as railroads, canned food, subways or any of the other conveniences of modern life.
- The novels have basic vocabularies meant for young adults, but this doesn't detract from the books. If anything, children's novels often benefit from a lack of a more sophisticated vocabulary because it forces to author to concentrate on the story. Christopher's novels have benefited from this phenomenon and the story is very streamlined and flows well.

I highly recommend these charming novels.


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  • At 7:05 PM, December 04, 2005, Blogger NewcastleBoy said…

    The Tripods series is very impressive, however, I have deep reservations about the prequel "When the Tripods Came" - I thought this book paled in comparison with the solid and superior writing of the rest of the series which were written some 20 years earlier.

    I would like to recommend Christopher's The Spirits of The Sword trilogy.. this is very good too.

    I also rather enjoyed the BBC series "The Tripods" and bought it a year ago on DVD and enjoyed it once more. Sadly, Series II doesn't look like getting another release - it was quickly withdrawn from sale when Second Sight lost the rights to distributing it.

  • At 9:56 AM, January 20, 2007, Blogger MaksimSmelchak said…

    Hi NCB,

    Thanks for the post. Good to hear what you have to say.

    I'll have to check out Christopher's "The Spirits of The Sword" trilogy.

    Shabbat Shalom,


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