Up the Walls of the World

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Up the Walls of the World
Upwallsworld cover.jpg
Cover of the first edition
Author James Tiptree, Jr.
Cover artist Don Brautigam
Country United States
Language English
Genre Science fiction novel
Publisher Berkley Books
Publication date
February 1978
Media type Print (hardback & paperback)
Pages 319 pp
ISBN 0-399-12083-1
OCLC 3167162
LC Class PZ4.T597 Up PS3570.I66

Up the Walls of the World is a 1978 science fiction novel by the American author Alice Sheldon who wrote under the pen name of James Tiptree, Jr. It was the first novel she published having until then worked and built a reputation only in the field of short stories.

The novel explores the possibility that telepathy and other psychic phenomena are real. It sympathetically describes an attempt to invade the Earth by beings with advanced telepathic abilities from the planet Tyree.

It considers the subject of sentience in different life forms inhabiting widely different environments, in computers and in a vast sentient inhabitant of deep space formed of a network of widely spaced nodes. It is Sheldon's skill to be able to write convincingly of the experience of beings in all of these.

The story takes place in 3 settings which unfold together:

  • On Earth, at a telepathy lab run by the US Navy.
  • On the planet Tyree, a life-rich gas giant inhabited by intelligent beings resembling manta rays or cuttlefish which ride the air currents of its vast atmosphere.
  • In deep space, the Destroyer, an intelligent entity larger than a solar system but only slightly denser than the vacuum of space and composed of countless linked nodes.

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