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The World Inside

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  1,307 ratings  ·  112 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Earth 2381: The hordes of humanity have withdrawn into isolated 1000-story Urbmons, comfortably controlled multicity-buildings which perpetuate an open culture of free sex and unrestricted population growth.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)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,508)
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Stephen
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
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
...more
Teel
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
...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
...more
Sandy
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
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
...more
Natalie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Stefan
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.
Olethros
-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
...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
...more
Nicholas Whyte
http://nhw.livejournal.com/459793.html[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."
...more
Alazzar
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
...more
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
Eddie
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
...more
Dominick
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.
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
andrea
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
...more
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
...more
Lars
'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
...more
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
...more
Cheryl A
I don't usually read science fiction, but this was being discussed in one of my groups and the premise sounded interesting. Earth in 2381 has a population over 75 million and the majority of that population lives in urban monads - Urbmons - self contained apartment cities rising 3 km into the sky. All needs are met by the Urbmon and residents live in an open, harmonious community. Well, really open and mostly harmonious.

The author has created a world in which sex is open and free (the novel was
...more
Gcoritsidis
TWI takes us to Year 2300s Earth where the population is 75 billion and almost all people live in 1000 floor super-skyscrapers which house almost a million people each. Building to the extreme vertically allows all other arable land to be used by small communes of farmers who provide food to the otherwise self-sufficient skyscrapers in exchange for equipment. It is a "Utopian" world without war or hunger and one where producing more children is a mandate from God, believing that there is still p ...more
Nicolas
Les monades urbaines est un roman-mosaïque de Robert Silverberg décrrivant la vie dans des tours gigantesques d’ici deux cent ou trois cent ans. Il s’agit naturellement d’une forme d’utopie (et oui, encore une) banissant la propriété sus toute ses formes. Chacun est un membre de la monade, et c’est tout.

Contrairement à Kirinyaga, il n’existe pas ici de manière claire de qualifier cette utopie. Est-ce le bien, le mal ? Aucun moyen de le savoir, si ce n’est par le traitement infligé aux "anormos"
...more
James Caterino
In the interest of full disclosure, it was all but a predetermined fact I was going going to like this book. Robert Silverberg is one of my favorite authors. I love the premise. It reminded me of one of my favorite novels as kid, "Logan's Run". I have a thing for the science fiction written in the era of 1967-1978. Oh, yeah, and I like sex too.

Like most dystopian works, "The World Inside" is very much a product of its time and in this case it is a good thing. Many of the thematic concerns that l
...more
Clark Hallman
In The World Inside, Robert Silverberg creates a very interesting Earth civilization that copes with a World population of 75 billion people in the year 2381. The book was first published in 1971 at a time when many people were concerned about the sustainability the Earth’s population growth. Authors such as Paul Ehrlich warned about starvation and devastating societal problems due to over population in the future. At the time limiting births was probably the most recommended strategy for averti ...more
Hadrien
Un court roman de science fiction derrière lequel se cache une étude sociologique.

A travers le système d'expansion verticale, l'auteur décrit une société dans laquelle tout va pour le mieux et de laquelle tout élément perturbateur est éliminé sans aucune forme de procès. Tout au long du livre le lecteur se familiarise avec cette environnement... d'abord perturbant, il en acquiert les règles et les coutumes, les assimilent, les acceptent presque... mais c'est à cet instant - avec notamment deux p
...more
Rufus
The World Inside (TWI) somehow reminds me of another architecture-based science fiction: the cyberpunk manga by Tsutomu Nihei called Blame! Both are really good in using space to create an alien atmosphere and setting. There is a sense of largeness in both that paradoxically engenders claustrophobia. I have finished the manga series Blame! and I am writing this while I am half-way through TWI. Whereas TWI teems with people in its corridors and rooms, the world Killy inhabits is a vast and mostly ...more
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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

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