William Sleator- Master of Sci-Fi
"It made me wonder about their interperitation of the IRSC. Maybe they had
it all backward, and the
higher numbers were better after all-"
William Sleator had a very interesting childhood. His parents pushed their children to succeed (he illustrates this with Bobby and Judy in The Green Futures of Tycho), but they were very liberal about the raising of their children. Once when a woman told his sister to stop sucking her thumb, Mrs. Sleator told her to put it back in (illustrated in "Oddballs")! Sleator learned to play piano at an early age. His first composition, "Guillotines in the Spring", showed his fascination with being morbid, apparrent in many of his novels. Also he played the cello for five years. In high school, he was one of the very first hippies. He didn't do as well in other subjects, however. His main interest was piano composition. Later he was accepted at Harvard University. Soon after, he realized this was a waste of time. He wanted to study piano composition, and the closest he could get was piano theory. Pending graduation, he moved to England in hopes of playing piano for ballet companies. He always had to room with other people, often changing landlord every week! At one point he lived with an old landlady who wanted to treat him as a son. She made him go on a vacation with her in an old pesthouse. Although it was a harrowing experince, it gave him inspiration for his novel, Blackbriar. After living in England for a while studying piano composition, he began touring with a ballet company. There he learned about the hard life of ballet. Pianists and other non-dancers were treated like they were expendable. They received low pay and almost no benefits, as they would be incredibly easy to replace. Then, the dancers were treated like little children. If a dancer did an exceptional performance, the trainer would be harsher upon them so that they wouldn't get cocky. Sleator wrote Fingers with some emotions left from this important time in his life. Some time Sleator wishes to write an adult novel about his time with the ballet company.
After having some of his novels published, Sleator quit the ballet and took up the occupation of a proffesional writer. Almost through accident, he stumbled upon the sci-fi genre and realized he had a knack for it. With his most used editor, Ann Durell, he has written many novels for young adults, those listed below are just a few. I hope you read and enjoy his books, because I know I have!
Books by William Sleator:
- The Boy Who Reversed Himself
- Dangerous Wishes
- The Duplicate-Ever wanted some one exactly like you? You won't after you read this book.
- House of Stairs
- Interstellar Pig-My personal favorite
- The Night the Heads Came
- Oddballs-Great if you need a laugh
- Others See Us
- The Green Futures of Tycho-Awsome book about time travel. Watch out, it gets confusing.
- Strange Attractors-Hmm... I don't think I 've read that one yet. Ask Tom if it's any good.
- The Angry Moon
A fan's site dedicated to The Green Futures of Tycho
A more complete book listing- And the means to buy them
Biography of William Sleator
Other William Sleator Web Sites
City book store. Find a Sleator book ya' like? Buy it here!
Quotes from 3 William Sleator books
The Melting Pot - Nothing to do with Sleator, but still al lot of fun!