Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The World Inside” as Want to Read:
The World Inside
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The World Inside

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  1,415 ratings  ·  126 reviews
Earth 2381: The hordes of humanity have withdrawn into isolated 1000-story Urbmons, comfortably controlled multicity-buildings which perpetuate an open culture of free sex and unrestricted population growth. Nearly all of Earth's 75 billion live in the hundreds of monolithic structures scattered across the globe, with the exception of the small agricultural communes that s ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 167 pages
Published 1983 by Bantam Books (first published 1971)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The World Inside, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The World Inside

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,801)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
mark monday
imagine a future world with many towering worlds within it! Urbmon 116 is one such world within a world; it thrusts from the earth with its 800 floors, engorged with over 800,000 residents. Urbmon 116 has everything a person could desire besides privacy. its residents never leave this world inside!

imagine a utopian future! a world that is orderly but not truly conformist. communal and neighborly and all about sharing and learning and responsibility and definitely not about being a maladjusted ma
Kat  Hooper
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

In the year 2381, the Earth contains 75 billion people. Despite the dire warnings of 20th century prophets, humans have not exhausted the Earth’s resources. There is plenty of food for everyone, but because 90% of the land must be covered in farms, most of the people live in Urban Monads — 1,000-story skyscrapers housing 800,000 people each. Citizens aren’t allowed out of their building, and many aspects of society are rigidly monitored. Everyone is marrie
4.5 to 5.0 stars. A very well written, incredibly original story that delivers a powerful message regarding what it means to be an individual and a human being. One of Silverberg's best. Highly recommended!!

Nominee: Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
Nominee: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
The SciFi I've been reading from about '67 to almost '79 is so distinctly different from anything written in the last fifteen-plus years, and so similar in style & tone to other books from the same period... There is a certain blandness to the modern books, and a monotonous repetition the older ones are prone to, though I think I like the ideas of the older ones, like this one, somewhat better.

One thing I noticed/appreciated while reading this (and other dystopias from the period) is that wh
In Robert Silverberg's 1970 novel "Tower of Glass," obsessed business magnate Simeon Krug builds a 1,500-meter-high structure to enable him to communicate with the stars, and since 1,500 meters is roughly equal to 4,500 feet, or more than three Empire State Buildings, the reader is suitably impressed. But the following year, in his novel "The World Inside," Silverberg wrote of a group of buildings that make Krug's structure look like a pip-squeak. This was just one of four major sci-fi novels re ...more
Evans Light
An interesting vision of the future 300 years from now, set in a world somewhat like last year's film DREDD, except here the enormous apartment buildings are models of self-sustainable efficiency, not slums that are riddled with drugs and gangs. Even the way justice is meted out is quite similar to that film, actually.
Although THE WORLD INSIDE story didn't have much in the way of tension or narrative arc, it was a very enjoyable travelogue into a somewhat possible future. The story dipped in and
Invadozer Saphenousnerves Circular-thallus Popewaffensquat
R Silverberg's "THE WORLD INSIDE" is
about the giant apartment communistic/yet caste ridden
complex (the floors are divided up according to job
'importance). Reading this I thought this is the straight bullet shot to the future. Population goes flippo so the powers that
be make a huge ass 1000 floor apt. complex where
everyone is supposed to just keep on poppin' pills and
out-slotting babies while holding down comfy jobs. Sex is free
with anyone, the apts. are always unlocked for the
'nightwalking' sexp
Oh I bet this one has been a firecracker at many a book club meeting.The World Inside began life as a short story (chapter one) in 1970. But it proved to be such a fertile idea that a year later five more stories were added to expand and more fully explore the world inside Urban Monad 116. Each story is from the point of view of a different character though they all interlink with each other to give a wider view of life in Silverberg's vertical monoliths; a narrative microcosm I suppose. The Urb ...more
Jared Millet
Here's something you don't see much of any more - Social Science Fiction. The World Inside is a product of the era that also gave us Logan's Run and THX-1138, and is something of the same ilk. Several centuries into the future, the human race has moved into giant monolithic city-buildings called "urbmons" that each house almost a million people. Society has made some rather extreme adaptations to living in such close confinement: every freedom is supressed except for one - sex - and on sex, the ...more
Kurt Reichenbaugh
Excellent novel (or series of inter-connected short stories) about life in the 24th century. Inhabitants of Earth live in a series of self contained buildings that reach skyward. Procreation (sex!) is the past-time of many. The few who long for something outside the crowded walls Urban Monad 116 are given center stage here. Religion and sociology put into a moving series of stories.
This dystopian novel of massive overpopulation is really quite good. People live in massive skyscrapers and most see their world as a utopia. The few who do not are ruthlessly disposed of and, unusually for dystopian novels, seem unlikely ever to change the system. The episodic structure and focus on various characters is very effective.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I'm not always a fan of books that skip between a number of characters, but "The World Inside" is an exception. I didn't find "The World Inside" to be a staggering work of originality and genius, but considering its age (it was written back in the 1970s) it didn't feel that dated either. The plot flowed smoothly and the consequences of sacrificing privacy and personal liberties for high population growth was explored thoughtfully in this well-written dystopian novel.
-Estilos e intencionalidades de otros tiempos.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. En el año 2381, la población terrestre supera los 70.000.000 de personas y se acerca rápidamente a los 100.000.000 individuos y la gran mayoría de ellos (pero no todos) viven y residen en enormes edificios con un millar de plantas, conocidos como monurbs. La Monada Urbana 116 y sus casi 900.000 residentes son una muestra de cómo son las cosas ahora en una sociedad que ha debido adaptarse a nuevas formas de
Vincent Powell
The concept of The World Inside is a compelling and portentous omen of overpopulation and globalization, one that seems incredibly prescient and continually applicable. Silverberg does a great job of describing the complexities of a society that lives within a single tower, and the tensions that extend to the individual in such a situation. He crafts a diverse world of politicians, scholars, engineers, and wives, and grapples with the new terrors and delights that evolve alongside societal chang ...more
Shelton TRL
World-building; Character-driven; Intricately plotted. Strong sense of place; Thought-provoking.

To deal with a growing population in the future, massive tall buildings each become homes to nearly one million people. These redefined countries have attitudes towards sex, procreation, and going outside that vary greatly from modern thought. The book traces the paths of several inhabitants in one of these buildings as their lives intersect with and diverge from one another.

***Warning: the sexual mo
Nicholas Whyte[return][return]I first read this as a hormonal teenager and was deeply impressed by Silverberg's portrayal of a future society where most of the world's population lives in apartment blocks which are three kilometres high and, more importanlty, everyone is not just allowed but encouraged to have sex with everyone else, written up in erotic detail. Now, rereading it twenty years later, I realise that it is actually a dystopia; sexual freedom comes with a tot ...more
Eddie Dobiecki
This book is not a novel. There is no real plot; it is a bunch of short stories. Certainly, it is interesting, and was groundbreaking in its time. It's yet another dystopian view that Judge Dredd has cribbed from, and it proposes an entire and interesting world.

But there is no Story here, capital-S. Only some thematically linked concepts and a neat idea. This book violates Vonnegut's cardinal rule: "Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted."
Blah blah str8 sex will save us blah. Shades of I Am Legend. Sex does not save them. Male-centric blaaaaahhhhhh. Disappointed.
As much as I liked the story's premise and world-building (global overpopulation is usually an interesting topic for me), I just can't stick with a book that goes 80 pages without ever establishing some sort of plot. The thing that finally broke me was the excessive detail about the musician's performance; when I turned the page and saw the next two pages each contained giant blocks of text describing the lights and sounds, I decided I was done.

I'm sure the book is probably pretty decent (Silver
Dee Dee
I feel ambivalent about the science fiction of Robert Silverberg. Most science fiction authors I have read who are as prolific as Silverberg are, frankly, not very interesting. Not to me.

I suggest anyone interested in science fiction, especially in reading it critically or writing it, read Stanislaw Lem's "Microworlds," which is a collection of very well written essays and critical pieces, and offers a useful framework to look at science fiction titles from. His is hardly the only useful perspec
This book is similar to "1984" and "Brave New World" in that it is a somewhat cautionary tale of what may happen. The main theme may seem to be of a sexual nature, but really the themes are privacy and personal freedom. It is a very interesting story, but there were a few things I didn't like:

--The story follows a few different characters around, and they are all linked in some way. However, it seems that the book was cut short since some of the characters' stories don't have any sense of closur
Dimitrije Cvetkovic
'The world inside' is a book based on Silverberg's short story, 'The world outside'. It's actually a collection of seven stories about the way humans live in the 24th century, each of them told from a perspective of a different character - 'The world outside' being story #6.

While I really enjoyed 'The world outside', 'The world inside' didn't quite live up to my expectations. Silverberg expanded the basic story by giving us new information and new angles on the Urbmon life, but in doing so, I fe
Daniel Gonçalves
24th century Earth is a different place. People have adapted to the accelerated crescendo of global population. The numbers are around 75 billion, diluted through millions of buildings 1000 stories high. This vertical adaptation altered human's perception of life in general. Most of them have never left its interior, and Michael, 15, is one of the very few who have taken the perilous decision to wander on the ground outside. What he finds propels the narrative into another dimension.

With this id
Harding Young
I picked this up at a used bookshop – chose it out of the litany of paperback pulps by Silverberg – thinking it would be a mindless escape into some interplanetary pornography. It is not. And yet I was still riveted and read the thing almost in one sitting. With echoes of Orwell and Huxley, it delivers you to a futuristic inner-world of condo-culture – but you really can’t escape. Written in the late 60s, no doubt Silverberg had ideas of where our condos were heading (Up! Up! Up!). He pretty muc ...more
my rating is closer to 3.5 than 3 stars. not much happened in this book and for a 233-page book, it did drag on a little, hence the 3.5 starts, but still i enjoyed reading it. also, written in 1971, it clearly shows with the emphasis on groovy sex and drugs. most interesting to me was the main character, the building itself, called the Urbmon (short for Urban monolith? Urban monstrosity? ;) )

ehrlich's population bomb was published in 1968 amid a lot of hoopla and i see this book as a direct res
Leonardo Etcheto
A series of short stories set in the future when we live in Urbmons - huge 1,000 story skyscrappers that allow valuable farmland to be preserved while the earths population goes to 65 billion.
Start very interesting, but the stories get dark towards the end as the main characters basically cannot handle the life that is focused purely on having babies. His concept of a privacy free culture, with no impulse suppression, no denial of others urges (lots of sex ofcourse) and make work that machines c
'The World inside' is a classic example for Soft Science Fiction, as the book focusses on the possible look of a future society and the role a single being plays in it. 200 years from now, mankind is living in giant skyscrapers 1000 levels, the population of earth counting 75 billion. Because of the constant constriction, society changes in a lot of ways. An example: although people still live in a monogamous relationship, having sex with strangers is considered to be quite normal. The inhabitan ...more
Jessica Ariwa
It's the future and the human population is 75billion plus. Civilization at this point has decided that excessive procreation is "blessworthy". Sex is a communal thing. In fact this society cherishes sex very dearly, it's openly consensual and promiscuity is encouraged however much like today's modern society it's the mans job to look for it during the "night-walking" hours, and alarmingly it is taboo to turn down an interested male if you are female...
I'm literally regurgitating the story, but
Pepper Thorn
The World Inside is like the girl in high school who dressed like a slut but didnt put out. Nice enough, but know going in that she's a tease.

I gave it an "average" rating not because there is anything average about it but because in the end, everything I did and did not like about the book sort of averaged out. There was a lot that I really liked, even loved about this book but there was a proportional amount of things that I disliked or that really bothered me. So what follows is a breakdown
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 93 94 next »
  • A Dream of Wessex
  • Limbo
  • The Whole Man
  • Arslan
  • The Last Starship from Earth
  • A Touch of Strange
  • Warm Worlds and Otherwise
  • Greener Than You Think (Classics of Modern Science Fiction 10)
  • The Computer Connection
  • Make Room! Make Room!
  • A Choice of Gods
  • Hello Summer, Goodbye
  • Empire Star
  • Telempath
  • The Guardener's Tale
  • The Disappearance
  • The Survivors (Ragnarok, #1)
  • The Dream Master
Robert Silverberg is one of science fiction’s most beloved writers, and the author of such contemporary classics as Dying Inside, Downward to the Earth and Lord Valentine’s Castle, as well as At Winter’s End, also available in a Bison Books edition. He is a past president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and the winner of five Nebula Awards and five Hugo Awards. In 2004 the Sc ...more
More about Robert Silverberg...
Lord Valentine's Castle (Lord Valentine, #1) Legends The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume 1 Dying Inside Legends II

Share This Book