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A crisis ensues as its population decreases, the people grow unruly, and an obstacle looms ahead. The first, third and fifth sections are narrated in the first person by the protagonist, Helward Mann; the second follows Helward, but is written in the third person; while the prologue and fourth part center on Elizabeth Khan, also from the third person perspective.Helward lives in a city called "Earth", which is slowly being winched along at an average speed of 0.1 miles per day (0.16 km per day) on four railroad tracks northward toward an ever-moving, mysterious "optimum".
One woman has a male baby who, like Helward, does not change shape.The opening sentence of this novel is "I had reached the age of six hundred and fifty miles," which has gathered comment by many readers.Critic Paul Kincaid writes that "it has justly become one of the most famous in science fiction." James Timarco says similarly, "From the first sentence, 'I had reached the age of 650 miles,' readers are aware that something is deeply wrong about this world.Save the date for Dreamforce '18 and join us for another year of learning.Inverted World (The Inverted World in some editions) is a 1974 science fiction novel by British writer Christopher Priest, expanded from a short story by the same name included in New Writings in SF 22 (1973).