Christopher Priest - 1974
SF Masterworks 2010
'What makes Inverted World shine like no other book is that it illustrates so perfectly how human beings create the context for their own suffering, yet this explanation never dulls the agony of Helward's predicament. And while Helward's story is tragic, the underlying narrative is hopeful. We create the chains that bind us, so therefore it must be possible for us to cast them off. But if we could do this, help one another to do it, would we know what to do when we got free?'
James Timarco - Fantasy Magazine
'Like Constant's New Babylon, Inverted World's city is a haphazard, bric-a-brac urbanism that responds to its users' needs. Tracks are reused and constructed so that the city moves something in the order of half a mile per day. The city's own management even features an antiquated system of labor division organizing the male population into various guilds -- all involved in the city's constant movement. Helward Mann, one of the novel's narrators, is an apprentice in the city's surveying guild. And it is through his eyes that we see the rest of the guilds interact with each other: acting on geographical data provided by Surveyors, Navigators plot the city's future course; Track and Bridge Builders provide the materials and human capital to construct the city's limited infrastructure; a Barter guild buys labor from the various indigenous settlements scattered throughout the landscape.'
Worlds Without End
Courtesy of Ricardo de Ostos