Trying to remember a book about (I think) a boy who goes through a portal (possibly struck by lightning?).

  • Ends up in a strange, primitive bush/forest land. Alien but somewhat Earth-like plantation everywhere - I believe the grass was purple.

  • There are very primitive humans (or humanoids?) and the main character was possibly made a slave by a tribe? Thinks is on alien planet.

  • It is revealed they are still on earth when someone has a glass bottle which reads "Coca-cola" on it.

  • There was something to do with quicksand which seemed important to the plot.

Probably read sometime around the late 90s, but could have been written earlier.

Was either a short novel or possibly even a short story.

Would be curious if anyone can remember this.

  • Take a look at this guide to help jog your memory and edit any more details. Specifically things like when you read it, or where?
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 6:44
  • @Edlothiad I have included the details when I read (I believe around the late 90s I can't be more remember more specifically unfortunately) Did you believe anything else was missing from the question?
    – Luke
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 6:48
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    Possibly any minor details about the character, such as names, or descriptions of appearance? Otherwise it's a very good story-id question
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 6:54

1 Answer 1


Sounds like The Transall Saga by Gary Paulsen

"The Transall Saga" book cover

From Wikipedia:

The story begins with Mark Harrison, a 13-year-old survival enthusiast, hiking through the mountainous Magruder Missile Range when he is bit by a snake and falls into a blue 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. Mark attempts to flee the village, but as he is trying to escape, he learns of an imminent invasion of the village. Mark returns 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....

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    Welcome, can you provide any snipets of the text or blurb that might suggest this is the right book? Firstly it makes it easier for the asker to confirm the validity, and secondly, youre more likely to get attention from active users and people just passing through.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 6:56
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    If this is confirmed to be the right one, it's a duplicate of scifi.stackexchange.com/a/24735/23243
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 13:37
  • Hi thanks from the answer, I believe this could be the book. Though under the other title. I will confirm this weekend and mark as correct if the case
    – Luke
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 23:25
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    @Luke: Ah. I'm guessing you might have read the UK Version? The general policy for Story ID questions is indeed to close them as a Duplicate if they're identified to be the same work even if they had different approaches to it. Linking them as duplicates actually makes it more likely that someone will find it with details from one or the other. I think I'll make the other one a Duplicate of this one. Better question, better answer.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Apr 11, 2017 at 3:59
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    @Luke, I've marked the other one as a duplicate of this one as the answer here is better!
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 7:17

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