The story was in a collection of short stories for boys from the '80s, but the story itself was possibly older.

The alien invaders were using something like tripods, if I remember correctly, and I think humans were able to bring the tripods down, but the alien bases were invulnerable due to a force field barrier. Mankind was virtually completely defeated within weeks.

Finally humans found a way - the alien tripods carried an orb or similar, which allowed the carrier to pass through the force field. Using orbs captured from tripods they destroyed, humans mounted attacks on the bases and defeated the aliens.


I would be inclined to suggest the The Tripods series. It was written in the 1960s, but, to quote Wikipedia, "Boys' Life, The Boy Scouts of America magazine, serialised all three books in the trilogy from May 1981 to August 1986." I remember reading the first chapter or two of it, which lead to me reading the books themselves.

Parts which don't match include a lack of forcefields. The Master cities are protected by domes which are later shattered by fairly conventional weaponry such as grenades, aided by drugging the aliens with alcohol introduced into their water supply. Based on what I've found about the prequel, the aliens succeeded through brainwashing people through television shows, although I remember, from the books, that the tripods themselves were fairly well armed and armored.

  • The Tripods is also a TV series (but the books are a lot more fun)! Jul 9 '14 at 4:41
  • Thank you, 22nd Century Fza. I did read the books and watch the series as a kid; you're right - the books were so much better. It's not that story, though. This one was only about twenty pages long.
    – user29072
    Jul 14 '14 at 5:54

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