Children's scifi and fantasy: an appeal to your collective memory

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Plain Simple, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. Plain Simple

    Plain Simple Commodore Commodore

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    I'm trying to dig up from memory two science fiction or fantasy book titles I read long ago as a kid. I don't have much to go on, but the collective memory here might dig something up.

    -The first is a science fiction novel about a kid finding a space ship near where he lives, if I remember correctly. I think he might end up helping to repair it or something, but I could be off on that. This one would have been published in the early 90's at the latest, but probably earlier. Not much info, I know...

    -The other is a fantasy novel (or possibly series of novels) about some children all around the world with some special powers, that have to come together to prevent something bad from happening. I think the story tracks some of the children on their search for the remaining children, while being chased or obstructed by the villain. Part of it might play in China, but I could be wrong about that. I'm less certain about the time of publishing here, but it can't have been later than mid nineties, I suspect, but again, probably earlier.

    Again, not much to go on. I'm pretty sure I read them in Dutch, but they could have been translations from another language for all I know.

    Anyway, I thought it would be worth a try to poll the wisdom (or memory) of crowds here. Thanks!
     
  2. Plain Simple

    Plain Simple Commodore Commodore

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    No one, then? It was a long shot with these sparse descriptions.
     
  3. CaptainWacky

    CaptainWacky Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The first one sounds a bit like 'The Iron Man' by Ted Hughes, but that has a giant robot rather than a spaceship. Unless your brain has confused it with the classic movie 'Flight Of The Navigator' somehow. But that's probably not what's happened.

    (I can't help, sorry, but I love that Transformers cover.)
     
  4. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There was an anthology book that had "All You Can Eat" and "An Evening at Lotha5r's" that I've misplaced.
     
  5. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    For some reason, the first makes me think of The Spaceship Under the Apple Tree by Louis Slobodkin. This was actually the early Fifties, but would have been in many libraries in the Sixties. (And apparently still available from Amazon!.)

    The second doesn't remind me of a book, it reminds of an Outer Limits two-parter, The Inheritors.
     
  6. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The first one could be The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet, also older and part of an awesome series by Eleanor Cameron.
     
  7. Newspaper Taxi

    Newspaper Taxi Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    My first thought when reading the first one was also The Spaceship Under the Apple Tree. My elementary school library ahd a copy of it in the 90's; maybe the book had a big reprinting in that decade or something.
     
  8. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

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    I've been trying to remember a similar story but have bugger all memories just I know I enjoyed it! :) The one I read would've likely been in the late 80s or early 90s, and the guy did go into space, with a couple of his mates.

    I have the vague memory of the word 'topaz' in the title (or prominently in the story) but that's all.

    I spent ages trying to remember another story about a little girl in a valley who survived a nuclear war but her peace is shattered when a man in a survival suit walks into town, soooo relieved when I remembered it ('Z for Zachariah').
     
  9. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I thought of both of those as well.
     
  10. Plain Simple

    Plain Simple Commodore Commodore

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    Thanks for all your suggestions. In my searches I had already come across "The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet", but I don't think that's the one. The story description of "The Spaceship Under the Apple Tree" sounds closer, but I don't think it's that one either. For one, there doesn't seem to be a Dutch translation, and I'm almost sure I read it in Dutch.

    As for the other story, the description of the Outer Limits episode seems quite different from what I remember, so that's not the direction I should be thinking in. For example, I don't remember there being any spaceship in that story. But then, I don't remember a lot of things that actually were in the story... But I remember it as more of an adventure story with traveling around to world to find all these children (I think there were four or five or so) for some magical purpose or so. But it played in a somewhat modern setting I think, not a medieval 'fantasy' setting.
     
  11. Plain Simple

    Plain Simple Commodore Commodore

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    I did some more searching and came across the Pentagram series by Anthony Horowitz. I can't be sure they are the books of my second question, but the descriptions and publishing dates are promising. And they have been translated into Dutch.
     
  12. Plain Simple

    Plain Simple Commodore Commodore

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    Apparently he has rewritten all books in this series recently under the name The Power of Five. This confused me at first, since the dates were too recent. But the original (unfinished) series seems to fit my time period constraints.
     
  13. Plain Simple

    Plain Simple Commodore Commodore

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    Hmm.... I seem to be lucky in my searches today. I've searched for books fitting these descriptions in the past, but today I am finding titles that could be the correct ones. The science fiction story I remember reading might actually be a Dutch one: "Schakelfout" by Henk van Kerkwijk (1970).
     
  14. spot_loves_data

    spot_loves_data Captain Captain

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    If you haven't found your books yet, you should post your question here: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/query.php?f=western animation&type=ykts

    They helped me find the name of an obscure tv show I only vaguely remembered. No one I'd talked to over the years had any idea what I was talking about, but tvtropes users gave me the answer in a few days. Once you log into the site, the "post new entry" button will appear.
     
  15. Plain Simple

    Plain Simple Commodore Commodore

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    Thanks for the advice!
     
  16. Plain Simple

    Plain Simple Commodore Commodore

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    I'm afraid I don't understand your post. Is this in reply to mine, or are you asking for the title of that anthology book?
     
  17. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I was asking for the title, I'm sorry.
     
  18. Plain Simple

    Plain Simple Commodore Commodore

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    I'm afraid I can't help out there. I'm sure you've tried Googling? I can't even find references to the two stories you mention, let alone an anthology in which they appeared. You don't remember the author(s), I suppose?
     
  19. yousirname

    yousirname Commander Red Shirt

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    This wouldn't be Chocky, would it? I better remember the BBC series adapted from it - Chocky's Choice, Chocky's Challenge, Chocky's Children, not sure in what order.

    Though in reading the summary, I'm not sure it's that close a fit at all.

    If that's not it, then before you wander into the wilds of Google, you might give AbeBooks a try, massive database of children's books searchable by keywords, date, etc. My sisters and I were tracking down old childrens' books when my niece was born and we found it very useful.
     
  20. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I also need some help remembering the name of a novel. This is what I remember:

    The protagonist is a baseball player, war starts with an alien race, he goes off to war, the aliens have the ability to shoot lasers from their stalked single-eyes, if a hole is punched in a spaceship the humans have a gun that shoots out a rapidly expanding sticky blob to seal it. Near the end the protagonist is face to face with an injured alien on the moon (?) the alien keeps blinking his eye at the guy, which the guy interprets as the alien trying to attack him. The guy saves the aliens life, then the guy falls unconscious.

    When he comes to in a hospital, the war has ended and it was discovered that the aliens 'lasers' were actually signal beams and the war started over a misunderstanding.