Inverted World

Inverted World

Book - 2008
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The city is winched along tracks through a devastated land full of hostile tribes. Rails must be freshly laid ahead of the city and carefully removed in its wake. Rivers and mountains present nearly insurmountable challenges to the ingenuity of the city's engineers. But if the city does not move, it will fall farther and farther behind the "optimum" into the crushing gravitational field that has transformed life on Earth. The only alternative to progress is death.
The secret directorate that governs the city makes sure that its inhabitants know nothing of this. Raised in common in cr#65533;ches, nurtured on synthetic food, prevented above all from venturing outside the closed circuit of the city, they are carefully sheltered from the dire necessities that have come to define human existence. And yet the city is in crisis. The people are growing restive, the population is dwindling, and the rulers know that, for all their efforts, slowly but surely the city is slipping ever farther behind the optimum.
Helward Mann is a member of the city's elite. Better than anyone, he knows how tenuous is the city's continued existence. But the world--he is about to discover--is infinitely stranger than the strange world he believes he knows so well.
Publisher: New York : New York Review Books, 2008.
Copyright Date: ©1974
ISBN: 9781590172698
Branch Call Number: PRI
Characteristics: 322 pages ; 21 cm.

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SFPL_danielay Nov 01, 2016

A city is moved constantly through a laborious and elaborate process that is hidden from most of the inhabitants. The mystery of why this is happening will keep you going to the very surprising ending.

i
IV27HUjg
Feb 16, 2015

I kept reading in the hope for some explanation of why the city was moving. Thought it was boring about tracks, sleepers, rails, etc. It never got going for me & failed to finish it.

w
WomanOfMystery
Jun 20, 2013

This book was originally published in 1974 and reissued as part of the SF Masterworks series.
I loved this book then and love it now. It is a major feat of imagination.

d
dunrobin
Feb 17, 2010

Good characterization, pacing and a surprise ending show why this book is a classic. Part mystery, part coming of age with a twist the author has done a great job of inverting the hero's journey. In this case the hero is the person you least suspect. When the mystery is revealed it does open up new frontiers; just not the ones you suspect.

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