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Strange Attractors

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  241 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Recent high school graduate Max is looking forward to his visit to Mercury Labs, an honor for top science students, when his mother tells him he's already been there--yesterday. Then Eve, the daughter of the Lab's top scientist, Dr. Sylvan, calls Max and asks him to return what he took from the Lab. But Max doesn't remember anything at all, and discovers that there are two ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published April 1st 1991 by Puffin Books (first published 1990)
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Average rating 3.71  · 
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Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book I read was called STRANGE ATTRACTORS by William Sleator. The setting was in different time frames. The main characters were two scientists and two daughters, but the main character of them all was named Max. The scientists were both named Adam Sylvan and both daughters were named Eve Sylvan but only one of the families was supposed to be in this world and time frame. I found the book by where my last book was which was called 'The boy who reversed himself' by William Sleator also. The ...more
Aug 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
All of William Sleator's books, pretty much, are good for young science fiction readers. He has a way of taking even science fiction clichés and making them something to wonder about again.

This one dealt with time travel and did so really well. I love how this author really makes you get sucked up into experiencing the attitudes of the characters. Despite the weirdness that happened because of it in the book, I wanted one of those calculators. . . .
Aug 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This is a pretty fun, adventure-filled read. It's short but full of non-stop action and has a GREAT ending. Plus the scientific aspect of it is well done too. It is a bit dated, though. Sleator mentions hoverpacks and robots, but no mention of a cellular phone or some type of recording device. It just doesn't age well, but if you can get past that, it's a great middle-school read.
Jerome Ellison Murphy
Sleator specialized in sleek tales of almost menacing urgency, in which (rather colorless) first-person narrators relate a speculative premise unfolding with unforeseen domino effects. An example would be his underrated THE DUPLICATE, in which a teen clones himself, only to confront the duplicate's own agenda, which involves successive duplicates, and the decreasing fidelity of reproduction. Like those of Borges, his narratives are often mathematically inspired - but, as YA fiction, stay on the ...more
Diana Welsch
Oct 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
WILLIAM SLEATOR IS THE MAN! When I see his books I just can't help myself. I bought Strange Attractors at a library discard booksale.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, this book is about a teen named Max who visits the lab of a physicist on a class trip. But he wakes up the next day with no memory of the previous day and the visit to the lab.

It turns out, the physicist from the lab has invented a phaser that can transport people and objects around in time. The problem is, if you go into
Julie Decker
Jul 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Max, a teenage science enthusiast, is about to go on a laboratory visit, only to receive a call the day before his trip from the people he's supposed to visit--Dr. Sylvan and Eve. And they want back an item he supposedly took from their lab--before he's been there. After piecing together the information he's got, Max realizes something odd is happening with time travel, all linked to a very special calculator, and there are in fact two sets of Dr. Sylvan and Eve. Max has to determine which one ...more
Paul Eccles
Jul 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My godmother got me this book when I was 12. Read it several times from age 12-16. It's a great read, ideal for teens. The characters are well written and the plot is very intriguing - the time travel in this book is just outstanding, the imagination of the future and past is very convincing. The devolution into chaos and allusions to chaos theory are very thought-provoking yet accessible. I loved it!
Kristen H
Nov 19, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction
I gave this book only one star because I didn't really relate to this book. This book talks a lot about science tools and science expirements. Sleator wants Max to forget everthing he already knows so he won't give the phaser to anybody else. This book has good word choice because they used a lot of adjectives and don't use common words.
Jan 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was one of my FAVORITE books in middle school! So much so that I haven't seen/held it since the 90s but I still remember the title. Reading "Timebound" by Rysa Walker right now. Falling in love w/it... And the subject matter reminded me of this treasured old book, which I should really read again one day :)

4 stars only because IDK if younger Me's tastes are the same as my current ones :)
Sleator manages to take a simple pun and turn it into an intruiging story of the future, the choices we make, and chaos theory. Brilliant.
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William Warner Sleator III was born in Havre de Grace, Maryland on February 13, 1945, and moved to St. Louis, MO when he was three. He graduated from University City High School in 1963, from Harvard in 1967 with BAs in music and English.

For more than thirty years, William Sleator thrilled readers with his inventive books. His House of Stairs was named one of the best novels of the twentieth