Space Travel, Boardgame, Spiderling, Lizardman, Blob

This is the place to ask about that story you remember so well -- but can't remember the title and author.

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Space Travel, Boardgame, Spiderling, Lizardman, Blob

Postby seanh » Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:13 am

Hi all,

I am looking for a book that involves space travel, a board game, a spider-being, a lizardman, a blob, humans, and several other races.

I read this book around 1995 when I was in Jr. High and the storyline has stuck with me ever since. The problem is... do you know the title of this book? I've been looking for it, for my home library and am unable to remember the author, title or anything. If I recall it was a shorter paperback book. The plot is below. Sometimes I swear I could just re-write the book from memory.

A young boy is vacationing in the United States near the beach, staying in a rented cottage. While the young boy is enjoying his vacation he meets the neighbors (a man and a woman) whom at first he is a little frightened of, as they seem very foreign and strange to him. As he gets to know them, he begins to become accustomed to their eccentricities.

One day the woman member of his neighbors asks him if he would like to play a board game with them. He agrees and they play. The board game is setup to be an intergalactic space travel game where you roll dice and draw cards. The goal is to get to the planet that has the “treasure” and make it back to your home planet before any other player can reach you or the treasure. The players then choose their cards for whom their character will be, which will determine how far they can move, their intelligence, etc. The boy draws ‘the lizardman’, the woman the spiderling, and the man the octopus-man.

The boy finds the game most interesting and he plays the game a few more times with his neighbors. As time goes on… the boy starts to explore his vacation cottage. In his room he sees etched into the window is a circle of carvings that are all pointed into one direction on the window. He finds this absolutely fascinating. He eventually uncovers what appears to be some wreckage from the site shown from the window. And in the wreckage is the captains journal. Within the captain’s journal it mentions of a sick man that looked as green as a lizard and had long finger nails like one too. This ‘lizardman’ the captain and crew had picked up was off the coast of the place the boy was vacationing at. The captain says that the lizardman was very wounded and they put him into the very room that the boy slept in. They said that they would hear him at night, when all was still. Making this scratching noise and cursing as he heard something that nobody else could hear.

Eventually, the boy begins to hear whispers on the winds. Something calling for him at the location of the etchings on the window. Meanwhile he is still becoming closer friends with the neighbors. Everytime they play the game. The neighbors draw the same cards. The woman is the spiderling, the man is the octopus-man. Eventually… the boy draws a human. The human on the card looks very similar to himself. This is when the neighbors know of the boys secret, (that he has come into telepathic contact with the treasure). They begin to tell him everything.. about who they really are and that the game is real. The lizardman was real and he was hear half a century ago. And the point of the treasure…

Whoever gets it back to their home planet… destroys all other planets. So no race is safe just to let the treasure go to anyone else’s planet. They warn the boy and tell him to hand over the treasure and let them handle it, but the boy doesn’t want earth to blow up. So what does he do? He goes and gets it to learn its powers and secrets.

Before he is able to get it fully activated the spiderling, in her real form and the octopusman in his real form zero in on him and trap him in the corner of his home. But just then.. the blob, another alien enters and begins to attack the other two aliens. Giving the boy enough time for a diversion to run with treasure in hand. After that… I don’t really recall…

But that should be enough details to warrant some kind of idea as to what the book was and who wrote it… I feel like I have enough details to re-write the book but everyone I have talked to has been completely clueless as to who it could be.

Thanks in advance
seanh
 
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Zathura

Postby admin » Thu Oct 04, 2007 9:01 am

It sounds similar to the movie Zathura, which was based on a book. I haven't read the book, but in the movie children play a board game that sends them to outer space. I enjoyed the film a lot. The book is by the same person who wrote the book Jumanji, also made into a film.
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Postby seanh » Thu Oct 04, 2007 10:43 am

Yes, i saw that movie. It is sort of close in that it involves a board game and space travel. But that book / movie is in fact closer to jumanji.

This book, the one I am searching for, is more of a mystery as the whole time you are trying to figure out why these neighbors act the way they do and why the kid is hearing voices. Any other ideas on what it could be?
seanh
 
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Postby seanh » Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:09 am

Anyone else have an idea?
seanh
 
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Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2007 6:12 pm

Postby prion » Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:36 am

Hi,
this could be the young adult novel Interstellar Pig by William Sleator http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstellar_Pig

I am still in possession of this book (I've read it in my teens as well, but that was more than a decade before you did it, alas).

Have to look it up, when I find the time.

greetings,
prion
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Prion for the win!

Postby seanh » Tue Nov 20, 2007 12:13 pm

That is exactly it. I cannot thank you enough. I have been after this book for about 5 years. I am so relieved... now if I could find the other book i'm after...
seanh
 
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Postby prion » Thu Nov 22, 2007 8:11 am

de nada, seanh!

regards, prion
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