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Up the Line Paperback – June 4, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: I Books (June 4, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743444973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743444972
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,717,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Silverberg has been a professional writer since 1955, widely known for his science fiction and fantasy stories. He is a many-time winner of the Hugo and Nebula awards, was named to the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 1999, and in 2004 was designated as a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America. His books and stories have been translated into forty languages. Among his best known titles are NIGHTWINGS, DYING INSIDE, THE BOOK OF SKULLS, and the three volumes of the Majipoor Cycle: LORD VALENTINE'S CASTLE, MAJIPOOR CHRONICLES, VALENTINE PONTIFEX. His collected short stories, covering nearly sixty years of work, have been published in nine volumes by Subterranean Press. His most recent book is TALES OF MAJIPOOR (2013), a new collection of stories set on the giant world made famous in LORD VALENTINE'S CASTLE.

He and his wife, writer Karen Haber, and an assorted population of cats live in the San Francisco Bay Area in a sprawling house surrounded by exotic plants.













Customer Reviews

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It's engrossing, informative and funny.
Sally
If you like time travel stories, with a dash of humor and a teaspoon of history, GET THIS BOOK!
"berend"
I read this one in high school, and I will never ever forget it.
tigah72

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 17, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Up the line deals with its protagonist Jud who lives in a future society where time travel (only into the past ) is permitted via a newly discovered Bencheley effect :)
He joins up in the "time courier" service who are essentially time tour guides and starts taking groups of tourists for visits to Medieval Byzantium.
In the process we discover numerous paradoxes of time travel including meting several instances of yourself at the visited spot every time you go back to it.
Eventually he falls for his distant ancestor Pulcheria and celebrates an erotic encounter only to lose it all to some tourist in his group that causes a massive time foul up.
Overall an excellent read with several sexual encounters to add spice. Intelligent accounts of some time travel paradoxes are visited although the resolution of these paradoxes is fairly weak.
Overall an excellent read for a rainy day or a long flight.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "cmb312" on September 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
It's that good, but that imperfect. It doesn't equal _Dying Inside_ (yes, I realize this comes up in every Silverberg review I write), but it is a close second. The subject matter, in terms of the protagonist's existential situation is similar.

Byzantium is sheer beauty as represented by Silverberg, the student of history. Some of the longer passages of history in the tour sometimes seem tedious, but I wouldn't want them removed from the text.

All the characters are well rendered, but they all seem to be suffering from a slight case of testosterone poisoning. Not too far outside the range of typical behavior for men, but I think maybe we've gotten a little milder in recent generations.

This has a much tighter plot than most of my other favorite Silverberg works, and it's well done. I'm of mixed opinion on how a couple of the paradoxes were resolved. I don't think the resolutions were weak, per se, but I think that I would have interpreted some of the logic differently. The ending, by the way, is great. It has a certain amount of negativity to it that is common to Silverberg's work, but the undoing is extremely clever, and the last line makes the whole book that much more worth reading. Highly recommended and, as so often with Silverberg's longer works, saddended that it didn't win the Hugo or Nebula.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Me Wallace on May 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
First of all, I'll be the first to admit that I'm probably a little biased, since I have a smoldering interest in Byzantine history and culture myself. However, I don't think that detracts from the pluses of this book: generally light in tone, and tautly written, it's one of the fastest reads I've ever done. The plot is singularly convoluted, but that's par for the course in just about any time travel work; as in many of the other short works in Silverberg's corpus, the story is heavily infused with the exotic and the problem of identity. You can feel Silverberg's enthusiasm for history through his protagonist, and I'm not surprised that he revisited the idea of exploring Constantinople in other works, such as "Sailing to Byzantium", to say nothing of the many others I haven't read.

The book isn't perfect, as others have noted. Its relentless "free love and drugs!" atmosphere belie its 1960s origins, and it's no exaggeration to say that pretty much everyone gets into everyone else's pants. That said, the abundant sex is not terribly explicit, so the sexually reserved need not be worried. Though only a couple of characters outside of the protagonist have any real depth, I don't think it's unusual for a short novel of this type to be more situation than character-driven.

In any event, I thought this book was a blast and a half, and its ending didn't leave me yearning less for more.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "berend" on January 4, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
'Up the Line' is a VERY good time travel story. It tells the story (in first person) of Jud, a wayward soul who decides to take employment as a Time Courier. Time Couriers are basically time-traveling tour guides, and are responsible for ferrying and watching over groups of tourists to famous historical events. Jud's particular fascination is ancient Byzantium, so he takes on the tour groups going back to see Emperor Justinian, the Haghia Sophia, and other sights. This to me is one area where this book shone. Silverberg made ancient Byzantium come alive for me, and sparked a whole line of discovery and amazement after I had finished the book. I have re-read this great story seven or eight times and never grow tired of it. If you like time travel stories, with a dash of humor and a teaspoon of history, GET THIS BOOK!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steve on January 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an extremely well written and clever time-travel novel, which has many funny passages. The protagonist is Judson Elliott III, a bored former law clerk, who never completed his doctoral requirements, having attend Harvard, Yale, and Princeton in the mid-twenty-first century. Since his special area of study is Byzantine culture, he gets a job as a time courier, taking time tourists "up the line" to Byzantium. He learns how to become a great guide, while breaking the Time Service's rule not to have sexual encounters with past women. Jud even has a brief affair with one of his ancestors, with whom he falls in love. Then, Jud begins to make mistakes and paradoxes result, which put him in danger of being punished by the Time Patrol enforcement unit. Finally, Jud duplicates himself and Jud A and Jud B alternate between different time periods!

The novel, published in 1969, has lots of sexual and drug encounters--a reflection of the counter culture of the 1960s; but Silverberg makes it all work in the future culture. This is a quick read, and the book held my interest from beginning to ingenious end. The details about crusaders, emperors, and the various periods of the Byzantine Empire appealed to me as a history buff, and the twists-and-turns of the time-travel plot, added to my enjoyment.
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