Leo and Tim are abducted by aliens—and find themselves in the middle of an intergalactic feud
Leo is driving his best friend, Tim, to the station to catch the midnight train to New York City, where Tim hopes to sell his science fiction drawings to a publisher. But they never get there. While on the road, Leo and Tim see a strange circle of lights in the sky, and before they know it, creepy, tiny-headed creatures are taking samples of the boys’ blood on some sort of spaceship. Suddenly, Leo is back in his car and Tim—along with Leo’s memory—is gone. Worse, when Leo finally starts to remember what happened, no one believes him. Before long, the 2 friends find themselves in the middle of a cosmic contest between warring alien races—and the people of Earth are caught in the crossfire. Time is running out, and it’s up to Leo and Tim to save the planet from catastrophe.
Leo is driving his friend Tim to the bus station so the latter can sneak off to New York to show his drawings to a publisher, and neither teen is prepared for what happens next. They get abducted by aliens and taken aboard a spacecraft, where samples of their bodily fluids are drawn by disgusting tiny-headed creatures at the behest of even more disgusting huge-headed creatures. The aliens decide to keep Tim, whose drawings they admire, and hapless Leo gets dumped back in the car, with no memory of what happened. Ensuing events, down to the ironic ending, are straight out of the sci-fi cliche vault; savvy readers will recognize elements from The Outer Limits TV series, The Stepford Wives and Invasion of the Body Snatchers, as well as environmentalist tracts. This is not one of Sleator's (Others See Us) more inspired efforts, but for those whose idea of mind candy includes plenty of slimy creepy-crawlies, it may be just the ticket. Ages 10-up.