I'm looking for a short story or book series about a post-apocalypse Earth which is controlled by aliens. The aliens at the time of the story have a more maternal role over the remaining humans. The major thing I remember about it is the kids are being trained to fight using blades strapped to their elbows and knees. I think their training involves trying to get past a robot in a narrow corridor. I'm pretty sure the setting starts in the desert but the main character is eventually flown away to a different location.

Time of publication would be pre-2010, but felt like it was much older ~1970/80s.

It was in a paperback when I read it and don't remember any indication that it was from collection of stories from magazines.

From my perspective the book was aimed at a younger audience, I don't recall any sort of overt or otherwise sexual themes in it.

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    I have a vague recollection of a novel like this - lizard-like aliens training humans to fight each other, using rooster-fighting videos as training, and promising sex (with another human) to the winner. This was an old, slim novel. I recall that the aliens themselves were decadent, their technology failing. Nov 26, 2023 at 14:10

1 Answer 1


This might be "The Bite of Monsters", a 1971 science fiction novel by comic book writer Dennis O'Neil. The story happens after snake-like aliens have conquered earth. The aliens have limited or failing technology - I recall that they had several vehicles, but only one motor. The aliens trained humans to participate in gladiatorial contests by showing them cockfighting videos, then attaching blades to the combatants so the men could fight like roosters. The aliens also showed pornography to the gladiators, as a demonstration of the reward they would earn by winning. The aliens did not do this for entertainment, but rather as research, using humanity to learn how to solve their own species' problems. At the end, the main alien researcher wandered in the desert, hissing and biting, after reaching the conclusion that he should revert to an animal-state.

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    Thanks, but that's not it. The aliens weren't snake-like, and I'm pretty sure there was no sex/porn in it. I'll add these details back into the main question. Nov 27, 2023 at 23:11

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