The Inverted World

Christopher Priest
The Inverted World Cover

Inverted World


I was worried about this one, and I shouldn't have been. It was extremely readable, and I really enjoyed it.

I was worried because I'd heard a few rumbles that it wasn't what it appeared to be, or that it fatally undecut itself, or something. I'm familiar enough with Priest's later work that I was worried it might pull some kind of unsatisfying twist, but having now read it I didn't feel that was the case. I found it to be an engaging story with an interesting premise, and don't really understand where my original impression came from. I sprinted through the book in just 3 evenings and really enjoyed it.

The main character, Helward Mann, lives in a city that moves. We gradually learn the reason that it moves as Helward does himself, and as things start to get complicated for the city and its inhabitants, and more facts about the world begin to come to light.

The book won the BSFA Award in 1974 and was nominated for a Hugo in 1975, losing out to The Dispossessed, which is no shame at all. I gave it 4/5 stars.