BYORBYK: #2 INVERTED WORLD by Christopher Priest

Inverted World (New York Review Books Classics)
 Inverted World
by Christopher Priest
image: NYRB Classic
Christopher Priest's science fiction master work, Inverted World could be considered a literary exercise in relativity. It's the story of Helward Mann, a citizen of the city of Earth, who as a consequence of his guild duties begins to question the purpose behind the very existence of his world. The city itself is a sort gigantic train, winched along on rails, which are perpetually being constructed, moving on a course constantly being charted; If the city fails to progress it will succumb to a mysterious crushing gravitational force. So Earth has become a self contained ever moving metropolis, where most of it's citizens are blissfully unaware of its outer environs.

Coming Of Age In Dystopia

The city of Earth's infrastructure is maintained wholly by its various secretive Guilds, such as the Bridge Guild, the Militia Guild, and other such groups dedicated to the mechanization and preservation of the city. The guildsmen, a class consisting only of adult males, are the elite of society. As Helward comes of age, he is ushered into their ilk, being tasked with escorting a group of young women back to their outlying homeland. The farther they travel away from the city,  the more distorted the environment, and the women, become.

The Physics of Topsy Turvy 

Priest fashions a bizzaro world in flux, alien and familiar by turns. Time speeds and slows, oceans become rivers, matter flattens and expands in spastic perspective. Everything escapes relativity. By the end of Priest's tale, all is explained with scientific elegance. Along the way, this book sucks you into its vortex, it has you scratching your head then grinning in awe-filled wonderment at the surprising plausibility of its climactic revelation. The Inverted World is a must read if not for its subtle social commentary, then for its grasp of natural philosophy, its revealing science of power.

The author Christopher Priest
image by Gonzo Bonzo
About The Author

Christopher Priest is the author of eleven novels, dozens of short stories, and other critical work including biography and children's nonfiction. Besides Inverted World, he is most notably the author of The Prestige which was adapted into the 2006 film directed by Christopher Nolan. He resides in Hastings, England with his wife and twin children.

Title: Inverted World
Author: Christopher Priest
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: NYRB Classics (July 22, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590172698
ISBN-13: 978-1590172698