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Up the Walls of the World (1978)

av James Tiptree, Jr.

Andra författare: Se under Andra författare.

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
5331333,773 (3.81)23
Human telepaths receive calls for help from an endangered world. However, the interstellar being threatening them, may be trying to help.
  1. 00
    A Woman of the Iron People av Eleanor Arnason (debbiereads)
    debbiereads: There are lots of differences, but each book explores a complex alien culture that is not monolithic - there is difference and change among the aliens, not just change triggered by contact with humans.
  2. 00
    Mer än människa av Theodore Sturgeon (debbiereads)

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» Se även 23 omnämnanden

engelska (11)  italienska (2)  Alla språk (13)
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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 books have been on our bookshelves for ages. So, it was with a lot of curiosity and excitement that I started reading what was Tiptree’s first novel for my next WOGF challenge book. It held up to that approach, I’m happy to say.

Up the Walls of the World is a complicated tale, starting in the brain of the Destroyer, an entity larger than a solar system moving through space in existential pain. It considers itself evil and a betrayer of its kind.

Tiptree introduces us next to an entity that can pick up on that evil. She is a Tyrenni, part of a race of creatures resembling manta rays who ride the winds of a large gas planet’s atmosphere and communicate telepathically and through the changing colors of their bodies. Something is destroying the Tyrenni’s planet.

Next we meet a group of plain old humans. Well, not exactly. They’re a group of supposedly telepathic folk conducting experiments at a US Navy laboratory.

The book moves amongst all three of these. I was most interested in the Tyrenni because I had never read anything like them before. Tiptree did a great job of creating a wholly other sentient species that is utterly unhuman, and she still found space to play with gender and society. In Tyrenni culture, males are the childbearers and hold a higher place in society because of it. The females are the explorers and have all the fun.

The humans took time to grow on me. I initially found the group’s medical doctor (and our introduction to this aspect of the book) to be annoying in his attitudes and near fetishization of the team’s only Black member and IT chief, Margaret Omali. But there’s an aspect to Daniel Dann’s character that reveals itself slowly through the book and helped diffuse some of that.

The Destroyer itself is simply brilliant and the reveal of its true mission made me smile, as did the way Tiptree wove all three elements of the book together into a satisfying conclusion.

Up the Walls of the World is one of the most original books of any genre I’ve read in a long time and a fun read. I ended up loving most of her characters, especially Tivonel, the first Tyrenni we meet. And the book kept me guessing most of the way. Highly recommended. 4.6/5

I also wonder if this is where Whedon got Faith’s catchphrase, because there it is on page 133.

“Five by five!” Costakis calls out again, and then Winona exclaims in a strained voice, “Doctor Catledge, this is wild. I know we’re getting them.” ( )
2 rösta MFenn | Apr 22, 2018 |
  Vincenzop. | Mar 7, 2018 |
I am entirely blown away by Tiptree.

I have low expectations of classic SF, but Tiptree has taught me a sharp lesson in how much more interesting things became in the 70s. A traditional Cold War military story - in which the Navy try to use telepathy to communicate with submarines - is subverted by the non-traditional characters long before you begin to appreciate the dilemma and politics of the desperate aliens trying to reach out across the ether.

Expect much musing on gender roles, morality and the nature of the individual. Surprisingly modern in its outlook, and unexpectedly optimistic.

Full review ( )
2 rösta imyril | Apr 15, 2017 |
This is Alice Sheldon's only full-length novel. It's neither more, nor less strange than other things she wrote, although it does show the strain of leading the double life she'd led for so long. This was the turning point. She was exposed during the time this was headed into publication.

I'd like to think that Alice, and Hunt, were both off, floating eternally in the cosmos, joined in one vast hive mind, and questing for pure knowledge.

The novel expresses various gender roles, and has us examine gender, race, and our roles within society, and looking outside ourselves while doing so. I admit that the creatures on Tyree are less complex than I'd have liked, but the merging of everything at the end was well done. Omali is my favorite character; strong, intellectual, and secretly flawed. What's not to like? ( )
  Lyndatrue | Dec 17, 2014 |

This is pretty good - a book with three plot lines, human researchers in a secret lab and two different alien viewpoints, of which the most memorable is the race of telepathic flying creatures inhabiting the upper reaches of a gas giant's atmosphere. Part of it is the interaction between the three groups - when the narrative strands decisively intersect about half way through, it comes as a real structural shock to the reader. But Tiptree also uses the aliens for whom child-rearing is the highest-status occupation as a mirror to reflect and observe our own world, gender roles and power politics and all. She is of course best known for her short stories but I'd recommend this as well (to the three of you who haven't already read it). ( )
  nwhyte | Nov 21, 2014 |
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» Lägg till fler författare (4 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Tiptree, James, Jr.primär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Brautigam, DonOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Mahlow, RenéÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Underwood, GeorgeOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Vonarburg, ElisabethÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Wohl, BellaÜbersetzermedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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To H. D. S.
For dreams that never die.
To H.D.S. For dreams that never die
Inledande ord
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Dt. Ausgabe 1980 als "Die Feuerschneise" (Übers. René Mahlow); Neuausgabe 2016 als "Die Mauern der Welt hoch" (Übers. Bella Wohl)
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Human telepaths receive calls for help from an endangered world. However, the interstellar being threatening them, may be trying to help.

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