Trying to identify a science fiction short story from an anthology likely published before 1991.

Aliens invade during a nuclear war (which would be World War III, WWIII, WW3). The warring nations then turn their nukes on the landing sites, but the invasion succeeds.

Believe the setting is in the U.S., possibly Pacific Northwest, but definitely a mountainous region.

Based on negative inference from the aliens' description of humans as fur-less, no-tail, bipeds (or similar), the aliens are apes or monkeys.

The aliens describe Earth as worse than the Hell planet they previously conquered. They see our tanks and think that we can't have more than a few of those to fight with.

Yet the aliens are somewhat benign, as they take some children back to their parents for a stern talking-to after the children run an alien convoy off the road into a chasm by stringing a rope across the road.

1 Answer 1


I think this is Christopher Anvil's Pandora's Planet. Pandora's Legions has the complete collection of the stories.

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The aliens are more lion-like than ape. Their tech, except for FTL, is way behind ours (they're mostly at a WWII level). Their invasion sparked a brief nuclear war among Earth's nations. This, combined with using the few tech advantages they have (and generally being very fierce fighters) as well as overwhelming numbers (they are a galactic empire after all) allows them to win.

Here's the part about the kids:

Planetary Integration did have a few victories to its credit. The trouble on the hilly curve, for instance, proved to be caused by a gang of native boys who came out every few days and stretched a cable across the road at an angle. The speeding ground-cars spun around the curve, slid along the cable and went over the edge. The boys then came out, rolled up the cable, and went home for breakfast. By the time this was discovered, the situation was so uneasy no one thought of asking any more than that the boys be spanked and the cable confiscated

It's a pretty funny book, a decent light read.

  • 1
    Thank you gents -- outstanding job. (Rogue Jedi for adding 'story id' tag, and Joe L. for id'ing the story so quickly.) That sure sounds like it, especially since the full-length book is apparently based on a short story of the same name. It's the short story that I remember. Too bad the aliens are lion-like, as it seems funnier to remember them as apes. Anyways, this is my father's favorite short sci-fi story, which he read in an anthology I borrowed from the library for him. We have not been able to identify the title or author until now. His 75th birthday is in two weeks, and now I can ...
    – user64004
    Mar 30, 2016 at 23:38
  • ... get him a copy of this story for his present. It will make a wonderful, meaningful gift for the man who needs nothing. Again, outstanding job!
    – user64004
    Mar 30, 2016 at 23:38

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