''The Inverted World'' (also published as just ''Inverted World'') is a science fiction novel by Creator/{{Christopher Priest|Novelist}}, taking its concept (but none of its plot or characters) from a short story of the same name. Originally published in 1974, it was republished in 2010 as part of the SF Masterworks Collection. ''The Inverted World'' won an award from the British Science Fiction Association and was nominated for a Hugo.

Helward Mann is a citizen of the City of Earth, a massive rail-mounted structure which has somehow become TrappedInAnotherWorld. Upon coming of age, Helward joins the Future Guild, allowing him to explore the world outside the City for the first time. The story follows Helward as he tries to understand the nature of the strange inverted world in which he finds himself, and learns why the people of the City must forever struggle to keep moving it endlessly forward.

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!!This novel provides examples of:
* [[spoiler:AfterTheEnd: Earth after the Crash]]
* AlienGeometries: Encountered far North and South
* ArrangedMarriage: Helward and Victoria
* BaseOnWheels: the City of Earth
* CityInABottle
* ContrivedCoincidence: The fact that up until the end of the novel, the city just happens to have been travelling over land for thousands of miles, never encountering a sea or major lake.
* CoolTrain: Earth-city
* [[spoiler:EarthAllAlong: The device which powers the city fucks up human perceptions of space and time.]]
* HeroicBastard: Helward Mann; his mother was a native woman who didn't remain in the City after his birth. This is the norm in the City; Victoria is noted as unusual for having two parents.
* InfantImmortality: Averted.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler: In addition to the fact that the City is in trouble with the natives and experiencing shortages and unrest, the Guilds have no way of crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Because the inhabitants are literally dependent on staying near optimum, when they are no longer able to do so, it will end very badly for them. Not to mention the fact that they've pissed off everyone around them.]]
* EldritchLocation: The far south.
* MarsNeedsWomen: Inversion due to skewed birth rates depriving them of women, the men of the city need to interbreed with the native women to keep the population up.
* {{Microts}}: To the reader's initial confusion, the City uses "miles" as a measure of time: 1 mile = 10 days. This eventually receives justification when it is explained how optimum moves a tenth of a mile per day.
* TheReveal: Elizabeth's speech at the end, reveals what has been going on with the world's shape the whole time.
* RiverOfInsanity: The City's sisyphean struggle forwards towards optimum as it constantly moves away from them. A hopeless journey towards a nonexistant destination...
* SlaveRace: The native "tooks" are treated this way by the people of the City.
* StayInTheKitchen: Because of the City's population problem, women aren't allowed to join the Guilds; their job is to marry early and produce as many children as possible
* [[spoiler:SuperweaponSurprise: Those "primitives" the City's been exploiting? Turns out the City's only encountered deeply impoverished villages so far. Word of its rape and pillage has been spreading to the North, where the natives have rifles and grenades...]]
* [[spoiler:ThroughTheEyesOfMadness: If Elizabeth is correct, much of what Helward sees throughout the novel is delusions caused by the translat generator.]]
* TimeDilation: Due to the planet's bizarre hyperboloid shape, time moves faster to the north of optimum and slower to the south of optimum.
* ToxicPhlebotinum: [[spoiler:Destaine's translat generator]]
* TrappedInAnotherWorld: The inhabitants of the City. [[spoiler:Or not.]]
* UnitConfusion[=/=]FantasticMeasurementSystem: A very strange example. Because of the weird features of the hyperboloid world, units of distance and time are used interchangeably. A "mile" can mean a distance of one mile, or the time period over which optimum moves one mile. The direction in which the City travels is called both "North" and "Future"; backward from the city is "South" and "Past". (And "North" and "South" aren't the same thing for the natives.)
* TheUnmasquedWorld: Though the inhabitants of the City are initially kept in the dark about the true nature of the world, the Guilds are forced to reveal everything when it becomes apparent how dangerous their ignorance might be.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: Though the natives look human, the people of the City treat them as having no rights at all. This eventually bites them in the ass big-time.
* WorldShapes: The story takes place on a hyperboloid planet. [[spoiler: Or does it?!]]
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