The Transall Saga
Book cover of: The Transall Saga
|Cover artist||Jon Paul Ferrara, Chris Nurse|
|Genre||Novel, science fiction|
|Publisher||Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for young readers a division of Random House Inc.|
|Media type||Hardcover and Paperback|
The Transall Saga (also known as Blue Light in the United Kingdom) is a 1998 novel by Gary Paulsen. It is a survival story like most of his other books, but also involves the science fiction genre with its post-apocalyptic setting.
The story begins with Mark Harrison, a 13-year old survival enthusiast, hiking through the mountainous Magruder Missile Range when he is struck by a mysterious blue beam of light. He wakes up in a strange world that he believes is an alien world with many similarities to Earth. He uses his survival skills to live off the land and, while exploring the forest, he discovers a camp made up of short, human-like creatures with webbed feet and dark, olive-colored skin. Soon he finds them too warlike to bear interacting with. He also hears a creature called the howling thing. A tribe which Mark refers to as the Arrow People allow him to live with them. He meets a girl named Leeta, whom he befriends. Soon after, he is enslaved by the Tsook, a metal-weapon wielding race of hominids. Over the next three months, he learns their language and develops feelings for Megaan, the chief's daughter. The two attempt to flee the village, but as they are trying to escape, they learn of an imminent invasion of the village. Mark and Meegan return to warn the tribe about an impending attack, and as a gift, Mark is granted freedom and official entry into their tribe.
Mark then discovers that, despite his misconceptions earlier, this world is a ruined Earth, sometime in the future. Megaan's brother gives Mark a shard of a Coca-Cola bottle and the Merkon (leader of The Tsook) reveals the events between Mark's time and this future, also revealing that he too was sent there by the beam of light. Sometime in the near future, a strange, highly contagious form of the Ebola virus wipes out most of the human race. Those remaining used nuclear armaments on each other, forcing civilization to start over. After severely wounding the Merkon in a swordfight, Mark asks Megaan to marry him. However, the Merkon's son has sworn revenge and Mark flees the village to protect them. He leads the Merkon's army to the jungle, away from his new home. Once in the jungle, Mark systematically kills the army but forgets about a scouting party that attacks him. Mark hides behind a boulder for protection and suddenly the boulder is struck by lightning and sends off a charge which brings Mark into his normal time. Twenty years later, Mark has become a scientist working tirelessly to find a cure for the Ebola virus. He is also able to have a quick flash back and realises that the time he visited was nothing but the near future, and dedicates himself to minimizing the spread of the Ebola virus.