The Green Futures of Tycho Book Review

The Green Futures of Tycho by William Sleator

Eleven-year-old Tycho is digging in his garden when he stumbles upon an odd egg-shaped object. With a little experimentation, he quickly discovers that it is a device for time travel. But when Tycho travels to his future he discovers a self that isn't exactly what he dreamed he would be. As he travels back and forth in time, playing tricks on his bossy older siblings, his futures grow more and more ominous. The question then becomes, how can Tycho not become the monster he seems destined to become?

Time travel is a difficult and complex issue to broach in fiction. Michael Crichton, H.G. Wells, Mark Twain, Arthur C. Clarke, Madeline L'Engle, and Rebecca Stead have all tried it with varying degrees of success. Doctor Who, the Time Lord himself, has even grown a little convoluted as of late. The Green Futures of Tycho is a classic, but one that I don't think should have been forgotten.

Sleator approaches time travel with his usual psychological mind twists. Tycho is not an unlikable character, but with each future trip he finds a more and more horrifying version of himself. Worse, with every change he makes in the past, something gets tweaked in the present which makes his future worse. The book is small, but Sleator manages to pack just enough character, passion, adventure, and questions that the book will remain with you.

William Sleator passed away on August 3 and I thought it would be fitting to share such a wonderful little but by a brilliant writer.

Other Notable Books by William Sleator:
House of Stairs
Interstellar Pig
The Spirit House
The Boy Who Couldn't Die
The Last Universe
Marco's Millions
Among the Dolls
Dangerous Wishes