Monday, November 8, 2010

The Tripod Trilogy by John Christopher (Sam Youd) YP FIC CHRISTOP

Sam Youd is a prolific and well-known science fiction author, and these three Trilogy books are among his most successful works, and will be soon made into a Disney movie, directed by Gregor Jordan. Since they were written back in 1967-1968, a lot of readers haven’t checked them out, but the movie will certainly help to get them back in the “must read” category for young adults.

The books are about a future time on earth when aliens have conquered us, and killed a large number of our population. Humans live on in pre-technology conditions, living in villages or towns that seem set in the Middle Ages. Electricity is unknown, and steam has not been harnessed. Of course humans should have been able to invent these things again, but the aliens have fitted all adults with a steel cap, thus controlling their thoughts and motivation. The aliens have set up their own city on earth, and patrol the world in Tripods - huge metal cylinders with three legs.

Three boys decide to run away before they are Capped, which happens as they near adulthood. They join a small group of rebels, men who hid in the mountains after the world was lost to the Tripods. In each book, the boys have to struggle through hardship and failure trying to overthrow the aliens. Will, one of the boys, is the narrator. We see Will’s hotheadedness, and how his strong gut feelings get him into terrible situations as well as pull him out of them. The writer uses the boys’ quest to make us think about how we fit in to our own culture – how our needs and emotions can stop us from seeing the best solution for everyone.

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