A.M. Lightner
Gods or Demons?
1973

There is a sudden flash of light, a jarring shock wave... and suddenly Tom, Eli, and Sadie are catapulted back thousands of years into the mists of time.

When Eli first told his brother Tom he had invented a machine that would take them back to prehistoric times, Tom was skeptical. To be able to see what the world was like before the origin of man... to be able to go back to the dawn of history! It sounded beyond belief.

But now it is all frighteningly real. When the time machine is accidentally activated, Tom, Eli, and their friend Sadie find themselves in a strange, barren landscape. They don't know what period of time they have been plunged into, nor even where on the earth they have landed. They have no weapons for defense, and no scientific instruments except their damaged time machine to help them out of their predicament.

The most disturbing uncertainty of all is what kind of "people" they will find. Friendly or hostile, civilized or savage? The young time travelers know their lives will probably depend on the answer.

What they do encounter is not just one race of men, but three very different peoples — including a group of highly developed alien space travelers who show some unpleasant similarities to the more aggressive side of modern man's nature.

How the young people become involved with all three groups, and the strange relationship they discover among these highly diverse beings, makes an engrossing, suspenseful tale. Gods or Demons? also offers a startling (and thought-provoking) theory about the origin of man.


A. M. LIGHTNER is the author of nineteen books for young readers, among them nine other science fiction novels. Her books include The Day of the Drones, Doctor to the Galaxy, and The Rock of Three Planets. She also has a strong interest in natural history and entomology and has written several non-fiction children's books on the subject. Ms. Lightner and her family live in New York City.

Jacket design by Bruce Waldman