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"Science fiction writers, I am sorry to say, really do not know anything. We can't talk about science, because our knowledge of it is limited and unofficial, and usually our fiction is dreadful."
- Philip K. Dick

Escalladder  
  A ladder that you don't have to climb to get to the top.  

I have no idea how this could be made to work. But as a person who has worked on ladders, I can't tell you how handy it would be to just rise to the top without a lot of unwieldy climbing with your hands full of tools.

I don't think this is like a fireman's extending ladder; it's more like the steps just cycle upward when you want them to.

We rode an escalladder into the nose.
From Crashlander, by Larry Niven.
Published by Del Rey in 1994
Additional resources -

The creation of this word follows in the tradition of the word escalator, which is a combination of escalade and elevator. Escalade is itself a word meaning "to scale a wall using a ladder."

From the story Neutron Star, collected in the volume Crashlander. Just for the record, the first escalator was installed in 1897 as an amusement park ride in Coney Island. Even today, you can see small children who are excited to "ride the escalator."

We're lucky they don't charge us.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Crashlander
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven
  Tech news articles related to Crashlander
  Tech news articles related to works by Larry Niven

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