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Creator / William Sleator

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William Warner Sleator III (February 13, 1945 August 3, 2011) was an American Speculative Fiction writer who mainly targeted his books towards young adults.

The format many of his stories take run along the lines of "Ordinary High-School Student stumbles into paranormal weirdness", but within this formula he explores a huge range of concepts from the deeper end of Speculative Fiction, with more than a few thought-provoking Mind Screws and plenty of ZigZagging of tropes along the way. As a result, in addition to being cool reads for their own sake, his bibliography serves as an excellent collective Gateway Series before one ventures into the more brain-melting territory of New Weird and Bizarro Fiction.

His works include:

  • Among the Dolls: A girl acts out her anger at her family with the dolls and dollhouse she receives, but soon finds that the dolls aren't happy about her actions.
  • The Angry Moon: Based on a legend of the Tlingit Indians of Alaska, in which an Indian girl insults the moon and is held prisoner by him until her friend reaches the sky country to rescue her.
  • The Beasties: Doug's family moves to the northern woods, where he and his sister become caught up in a war between the area's loggers and a dying race of strange woodland creatures.
  • Blackbriar: Danny and his guardian move from the city to a country mansion, but Danny's efforts to discover the cause of some strange events lead him to a group of local devil worshippers.
  • Boltzmon: When he's transported to a different universe by the titular creature, Chris must find out what turned his sister into a bitter old woman, and figure out how to prevent it.
  • The Boxes: A girl discovers some strange creatures in a box that have the ability to distort a person's perception of time.
  • The Boy Who Couldn't Die: A teenager responds to an ad in a newspaper purporting a way to live forever. He becomes a voodoo zombie.
  • The Boy Who Reversed Himself: A girl meets a boy who has the ability to travel in the fourth dimension.
  • Dangerous Wishes: Dom is determined to find a necklace that could stop his family's run of bad luck.
  • The Duplicate: A boy finds an alien device that clones himself, but the clones aren't necessarily friendly.
  • The Elevator (short story): Twelve-year-old Martin has always been uncomfortable in elevators, but he's especially nervous about the one in the apartment building he's just moved into, because it's usually occupied by a large woman who gives him the creeps.
  • Fingers: Eighteen-year-old Sam is composing new works for his genius younger brother Humphrey, and at his mother's insistence, claims they're from a long dead gypsy composer who's dictating the music from beyond the grave. Soon, however, Sam finds the composer may well have returned, using Humphrey's hands to perform.
  • The Green Futures of Tycho: A young boy discovers a small time travel device and uses it to get a look at his future, but the future keeps changing... and his own adult self is becoming meaner and nastier with every future he visits.
  • Hell Phone: Nick buys a used cell phone, but it turns out to have supernatural powers with a negative effect on his life, and he can't get rid of it.
  • House of Stairs: Five children are trapped in a house filled with endless staircases and are forced to play mind games with a machine for sustinance.
  • Interstellar Pig: While on vacation, a boy named Barney meets some fellow vacationers who are obsessed with a space-themed board game, Interstellar Pig, which soon proves to be more than it seems.
    • Parasite Pig: The sequel, in which Barney finds the game isn't done with him.
  • Into The Dream: Paul and his classmate Francine are having a recurring nightmare, which they soon find might be the key to saving another boy from a terrible fate.
  • The Last Universe: Susan and her wheelchair-bound brother Gary discover a maze that can lead them into alternate universes, where their personal histories are changed. While Susan is hesitant to use its power, Gary is eager to use its power to find a world where he's no longer wheelchair-bound.
  • Marco's Millions: Young Marco finds a path to another world in his basement, and must help its inhabitants to protect his little sister.
  • The Night The Heads Came: Leo and his artist friend Tim find themselves abducted by aliens, and try to figure out what they want.
  • Oddballs: Ten short and semi-autobiographical stories about Sleator's family.
  • Once, Said Darlene: A young girl tells strange, outlandish stories she insists are true.
  • Others See Us: An accidental dunking in toxic waste gives sixteen-year-old Jared the ability to read minds. Soon after, he attends a family reunion, where his newfound powers reveal his family's darkest secrets.
  • The Phantom Limb: Isaac discovers a strange mirror box that creates the illusion of a second limb for amputees. But the limb is alive, and trying to warn him about a dangerous killer.
  • Rewind: A boy dies and his life is rewound back to a few weeks before his death in an attempt to rectify the situation.
  • Run: Three teenagers, thrown together by chance in an isolated house, become increasingly aware of a dangerous robber lurking in the darkness outside.
  • Singularity: A couple of twins discover a shack that has a strange Time Dilation effect due to its relationship to a black hole.
  • The Spirit House: Julie's little brother Dominic builds a traditional Thai spirit house in their backyard in an effort to make their Thai exchange student Bia feel more at home. But when strange events start to occur and the formerly friendly Bia suddenly turns hostile, Julie suspects there's more to their guest and the spirit house than she thought.
  • Strange Attractors: Recent high school graduate Max is looking forward to his visit to Mercury Labs, only to discover a bizarre time travel experiment.
  • Test: In a dystopian future, Ann is caught up in a conspiracy involving a school testing company.
  • That's Silly: Two playmates have unusual experiences with both magic and pretending, and are not always sure which is which.
  • Unbalanced (short story): A girl named Linda likes to dance for people, but it never goes right, to her dismay... until the day it finally does.

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