Please help identify this science-fiction book from my youth
July 30, 2015 6:46 AM   Subscribe

AskMe is so good at this kind of thing! I read a science fiction novel when I was young, in the early 80s, although it may have been written earlier. The protagonist was a teenage girl who had been kidnapped because of her rare ability to see and travel through interdimensional portals.

Details I remember:
-- Only a small class of people on Earth could see these portals, and if a person entered a portal they were transported to another universe, and their human bodies were transformed into a creature from that universe.
-- The two most common portals were to a universe of lava and sulphur hellscapes where humans became a kind of armored tiger-looking alien, and a universe of liquid and seaweed where humans were transformed into tiny seahorse/water-baby creatures.
-- People had figured out technology "hacks" because if you were holding something in your hands, it was also transformed into an item from the destination universe. So if you wore a necklace made out of aspirin, safety pins, wooden buttons and lint taped together in a certain way, then when you appeared as the alien hell-tiger in the new universe, you had a gun strapped around your neck that was operated by your alien mouthparts.
-- The girl was being held on a rural farm in the USA by two adult men, although they were not cruel or crimminals, just doing a job she didn't understand. The farm had crabapple trees on it, and the girl had a bit of a crush on one of her captors.

How can I remember so many details but not remember the book's title? Thanks for any help you can offer so I can recapture this memory of youth and read the book again.
posted by seasparrow to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Spaceling by Doris Piserchia?
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:57 AM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

yup, Spaceling! Available as an e-book!
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 7:15 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Thank you thank you, Pallas Athena! I have been wanting to reread this book for years. My Google searches were failing me and I tried so many different ones. You have really made my day possibly my week maybe even my whole month! Thank you!

And thank you TEA for the information that it is an ebook form now. That is not something I would have expected from a 1970s science fiction novel that is out of print. I try and keep most of my fiction reading on ebooks now. Just to save space you know!
posted by seasparrow at 7:16 AM on July 30, 2015

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