I remember reading a novel about a city that moved across the landscape by continually being disassembled at the rear and those materials used to build at the front. The inhabitants had to walk from the back to the front when they were displaced. In the story the city has stopped, and eventually it's discovered by a displaced citizen that the front of the structure has collapsed as it was built in the water.

I can't remember the name of the book, and whenever I try to search for it all that comes up is Mortal Engines!


1 Answer 1


Inverted World (1974), by Christopher Priest

The city must be continually moved to keep pace with a safe area of physics, beyond which geometry becomes too distorted for the inhabitants of the city to survive. Eventually, the city will reach the sea, at which point keeping pace with the distortion will become a much larger problem.

  • That was my immediate thought as well, but the city in Inverted World is moved on tracks rather than being disassembled/reassembled, so unless that detail is misremembered by the asker, this can't be the right answer. May 6, 2019 at 8:47

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