Three scary stories by William Sleator

The Boy Who Couldn't Die
Strange Attractors
The Green Futures of Tycho

We love William Sleator in our house.  My husband and I both grew up reading Sleator, and now we try to collect the books.  (Cheap on Abebooks!)  William Sleator specialized in YA/children's SF and horror, and boy he was good.   His most famous titles are Interstellar Pig (funny) and House of Stairs (Kafkaesque).

The Boy Who Couldn't Die -- Ken's best friend is killed in an accident, and Ken resolves that he will not die.  His search for a solution leads him to a woman who says she'll make him invulnerable for the low, low price of fifty bucks.  And it works; Ken can't be beaten up, or burned, so he decides to go for the thrills and spend his spring break diving with sharks in the Caribbean.  But at night, he's having awful, horrifying dreams of doing things he doesn't want to do.  What will be the price of immortality? 

Strange Attractors -- Max is excited to visit Mercury Labs for a tour, but finds that he went on the visit yesterday, and he has no memory of it.  Then the famous and charismatic scientist Sylvan and his daughter Eve invite Max over and ask for his help.  But there are two Eves, two Sylvans...who should Max help?  The imposters are altering the past with a time-travel device, and shoving the world towards chaos.  They're also manipulative and charming, and devastatingly attractive -- why?

The Green Futures of Tycho is another time travel story, and it's also one of the most effective horror stories around.  Sleator manages to pack an incredible amount of freakiness into about 130 pages.  Tycho is the somewhat bullied youngest of four siblings, and when he digs up a shiny thing, they all want to look.  It turns out to be a device that allows Tycho to travel into the future...but every time he does, things are worse.  And the device is doing some pretty weird things.  Is it even possible to save the future now?

Three solid SF/horror titles.  If you've never read the underappreciated Sleator, give him a try!  He's not too easy to find in the library any more, but he's well worth a bit of effort.


  1. Geez, that calculator chopped off that boy's hand! "The calculator was out for blood," dude does write some serious children's horror.

  2. My favorite book of his was Singularity. I'm glad that you're passing on the love for his books. I didn't realize he passed away in 2011. Very sad.


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