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Up the Walls of the World

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  347 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Up the Walls of the World is a 1978 sf novel by the American Alice Sheldon who wrote under the pen name of James Tiptree, Jr. It was the 1st novel she published having until then worked & built a reputation only in the field of short stories.
The book explores the possibility that telepathy & other psychic phenomena are real. It sympathetically describes an Earth i...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 1st 1984 by Ace (first published February 1st 1975)
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The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories by Charlotte Perkins GilmanThe Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan PoeThe Valley of Unknowing by Philip SingtonDe Profundis and Other Writings by Oscar WildeThe Ballad of Reading Gaol and Other Poems by Oscar Wilde
16th out of 128 books — 24 voters
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienThe Golden Compass by Philip PullmanA Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingMistborn by Brandon Sanderson
Best Fantasy: Unique Worlds
351st out of 374 books — 293 voters

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Jul 28, 2008 Chadwick rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
This is one of those books that make me say, yes that's what science fiction should be. Meditations upon gender and species, the nature and scale of existence, all culminating in a glorious affirmation of the place that love occupies in a scientific universe.

This is one of those books where a plot summary just doesn't do much justice, but here goes. There are three narrative threads that become more and more entwined as the novel climaxes: on our planet, a group of extremely damaged individuals...more
Ce roman est étonnant, déroutant, différent de beaucoup de choses que j'au pu lire.
On y suit les destins entremêlés d'une bande d'extra-lucides divers, d'une race d'extra-terrestres ressemblant à un mélange de raies et de calamars volant dans l'athmosphère, et d'une espèce de créature de l'espace informe, mais proche dans l'esprit de la créature de cauchemar du 5ème élément. Ils se rencontreront forcément, et leur destin en sera changé.
C'est un roman très étrange, et les tyrennis, ces extra-terr...more
James Tiptree Jr (the pseudonym of Alice Bradley Sheldon) is the best Science Fiction writer ever. Her short stories explore the dark side of human destiny, the alien and incomprehensible. I disliked all of the novels I've read by her, but hold the short stories up as some of the best in the genre.
M. Fenn
I came to Up the Walls of the World knowing very little of James Tiptree, Jr. I knew that the author’s real name was Alice Bradley Sheldon and that her publisher kept her identity secret until 1977 (the year before Up the Walls of the World was released). The science fiction community argued over who Tiptree was (some sort of government spy perhaps) and what gender (both Robert Silverberg and Harlan Ellison assumed male).

But that’s all I knew. I’d never read her stuff, even though several of her...more
Dave Higgins
Unlike many stories of first contact this book does neither rushes the development of a basic comprehension of language and motivation nor makes the possibility of confusion the sole plot.

The story is built from three narratives: a being journeys from star to star, knowing that it has been separated from its fellows but able to remember neither what happened nor its purpose, seeking contact in a galaxy apparently lacking in intelligent life; on Tyree airborne mantas discover a being, the Destroy...more
Hieman hankala lukea, ehkä en ollut kovin vastaanottavainen tarinalle tätä lukiessa… Täytyy nostaa naiskirjailijalle kuitenkin hattua, kun on saanut tuollaista tekstiä aikaiseksi 70-luvulla. En tarkoita todellakaan sitä, että väheksyisin naiskirjailijoita, vaan uskomukseni mukaan 70 luvulle tultaessa ei olisi ollut kovin montaa naiskirjailijaa, jotka noin ansiokkaasti kirjoittaa ”kovaa” scifiä. Hävittäjä ei ole tyystin kovaa ja vaikka mielestäni cyberpunkahtavia piirteitäkin siinä esiintyy, kirj...more
Mar 13, 2010 Raj rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: sci-fi
A small group of military personnel are experimenting with telepathy and accidentally get in contact with an alien race called the Tyrenni. Their world is under threat from a giant being destroying whole solar systems, and they realise that their only hope of survival is to take over their human contacts.

This was a great book. I've heard people say that Tiptree's novels aren't as good as her[1:] short stories, then I'd love to read some of those, since this book was amazing. Her characters were...more
Natasha Hurley-Walker
A joyous story of first contact. I haven't read about such weird, wonderful yet beautifully real aliens since The Gods Themselves. As a physicist, I loved the world of Tyree, and the radio wave perceptions of the inhabitants. ESP is the magic wand of the story, but it is used really well, and the latent-psychic human characters are as damaged as you would expect. Dann's perspective is especially brilliantly written, slowly evolving from drugged fugue to brave selflessness. Just fantastic classic...more
Tiptree employs lyrical, gorgeous prose throughout this novel of destruction and rebirth. There are telepathy and psychic phenomena, alien body-snatching and parental love, youthful energy and the exhaustion of old age. So many themes resonate throughout this gorgeously written, ambitiously imagined, and perfectly realized novel. A must-read for all fans of science fiction.
I first read this when I was 13, and I've read several times since. This book is amazing--its structure, the characterization, the worldbuilding, the language--superb. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys sff.
night music -- bring on the clowns ♫
Brimming with ideas and imagination, interesting human and alien characters, outer space and alien world are vividly described.
Erik Graff
Apr 06, 2012 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sf fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
A quick, pleasant read. The author, Alice B. Sheldon, whom I thought was male at the time, writes well and sensitively.
had read her short stories, tried this: too florid, too fantasy, too new age sf.
Of her two novels, I like this one the best.
Good alien characterization.
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"James Tiptree, Jr." was born Alice Bradley in Chicago in 1915. Her mother was the writer Mary Hastings Bradley; her father, Herbert, was a lawyer and explorer. Throughout her childhood she travelled with her parents, mostly to Africa, but also to India and Southeast Asia. Her early work was as an artist and art critic. During World War II she enlisted in the Army and became the first American fem...more
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