When I was in 6th grade we read a short story (I'm pretty sure it was a short story) about Earth being conquered by aliens and they won't let the humans use electricity or cars. I don't remember much besides that but I'm pretty sure there were no turtle aliens in it. (It's not "The Singers Of Time".)

There was also a story about an alien family that was made out of sugar and they wouldn't let their kids out of the house in case it rained.

And an alien planet where the sun only come out for five minutes every 20 years or something and a girl from Earth would tell stories about the sun and flowers and the other kids locked her in a room so she couldn't see it.

I don't know if these were all part of the same book or if we just read a lot of sci-fi stories.

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    The one with the family made out of sugar is Rain, Rain, Go Away by Asimov.
    – Mr Lister
    Jul 10, 2016 at 6:52
  • Wow, "Rain Rain Go Away" is pretty obscure; looking in isfdb.org, it appears to have only been in single-author Asimov collections. Wonder where your teacher had you read it from @Josh ? Jul 10, 2016 at 15:33
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    @OrganicMarble: I know it's much later, but ISFDB doesn't have a lot of the "schoolbook reading" anthologies. I've encountered that a few times myself.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Jan 29, 2018 at 16:49
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    If the aliens were eating the cars, I'd say Rapture by Blondie ( a song's a story of a sort).
    – RDFozz
    Nov 30, 2018 at 17:38
  • You are asking three questions, not one. Mr Lister answered the one about the sugar family in a comment, sueelleker the one about the girl and the sun. Not easy to find where to answer the one bout cars. Not that I know the answer, but in principle you should ask three questions.
    – Alfred
    Jan 23, 2022 at 12:34

4 Answers 4


The third story is "All Summer in a Day" by Ray Bradbury. From the Wikipedia description:

The story is about a class of schoolchildren on Venus, which in this story is a world of constant rainstorms, where the Sun is only visible for one hour every seven years.

One of the children, Margot, moved to Venus from Earth five years earlier, and she is the only one in her class to remember sunshine, since the Sun shone regularly on Earth. She describes the Sun as "a penny", or "like a fire in the stove", and the other children, being too young ever to have seen it themselves, do not believe her. She is bullied and ostracized by the other students and is locked in a closet down a tunnel.

As the Sun is about to appear, their teacher arrives to take the class outside to enjoy their two hours of sunshine and, in their astonishment and joy, they all forget about Margot. They run, play, skip, jump, and prance about, savoring every second of their newly found freedom. "It's much better than sun lamps!" one of them cries.

Suddenly, a girl catches a raindrop in her hands. Thunder sounds, and they start to cry and run back inside. At this point one of them remembers Margot, who is still locked in the closet. Ashamed, they let her out of the closet, standing frozen, embarrassed over what they have done, and unable to "meet each other's glances."

The precious Sun has come and gone and, because of their despicable act, Margot, who loved the Sun the most, has missed it.


Since we haven't found an answer yet, I'd like to propose another possibility I recently ran across. The story is "Divide and Rule" (1939) by L. Sprague de Camp; it was anthologized in Cosmic Knights (1985), which is vol. 3 of the Isaac Asimov's Magical Worlds of Fantasy series.

In the story Earth has been conquered by alien invaders, who are referred to as "hoppers."

Something was coming down the road in long, parabolic leaps. He knew what that meant. With a grunt of annoyance he heaved himself out of the saddle. As the thing drew near he took the pipe out of his mouth and flipped his right arm up in salute.

The thing, which looked rather like a kangaroo wearing a football helmet, shot by without apparently looking at him. Sir Howard had heard of sad cases of people who had neglected to salute hoppers because they thought they weren't looking at them. He felt no particular resentment at having to salute the creature. After all, he'd been doing it all his life.

Cars are also forbidden to humans, which is why the protagonist, despite being ennobled, is riding a horse.

Sir Howard wondered--as had many others--what it would be like to travel in a power vehicle. Of course there was an easy way to find out: just break a hopper law. Unfortunately, the ride received in that way was a strictly one-way affair.

One difference is that electricity isn't completely forbidden, just dangerous to research. The protagonist's friend, Lord Peekskill, is doing some experimenting with electric lights:

[...]we've been having a little argument about my electric-light plant. He says it ruins his radio reception.

But the Sir Howard's brother is executed for the crime of research:

"Why...what's the matter Howard? Something wrong? Your father?"

"No. My brother Frank. The hoppers arrested him last night. He was tried this morning, condemned, and burned this afternoon.

"The charge was scientific research."


Alien invaders forbidding modern technology might be a feature used more than once in SF, but it definitely occurs in Poul Anderson's "The War of Two Worlds", which, however, is a full novel and not a short story.

This novel begins when Earth is defeated by Mars after a long and bitter war. The war could have been over after only 2 years, but both sides made strange mistakes that prolonged the war for many more years.

At the end of the story it turns out that a third party was involved who infiltrated high ranks on both sides and initiated the war to weaken both civilizations.


Is it possible you're thinking of one of the Shane Evert short stories by Gordon R. Dickson? The first story Enter a Pilgrim is a couple of decades later than the other 2 stories you describe, but you're not specific on what year you would have read them.

In the stories, the Earth has been conquered and occupied by the Aalaag, who want to use the resources and potential industrial output of the Earth to further their own race's objectives in a long-running war to re-conquer their homeworld. I don't recall a specific prohibition by the aliens on most technology, but in practice no humans own motor vehicles (or much of anything, really) because it would be a waste of resources. I believe that communication technology was prohibited though.

(I'm sorry, my Google-fu is failing me, and I can't find good links to background material on the stories. There are a couple of previous questions with the compilation/novel Way of the Pilgrim as an answer.)

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