Inversion (Black Dawn #5)

Regular price $ 17.00

by Aric McBay

AK Press

11/21/2023, paperback

SKU: 9781849355049


On a mysterious green planet regenerated by fire, vibrant communities live in harmony with both its strange ecosystem and each other--until the day imperialist forces arrive.

Char and her family are among the nomadic Summer people of Germinal who tend to the rich biodiversity of their world through reciprocity and ritual. They must forever travel to stay ahead of the walls of fire that approach like clockwork, bringing with them both loss and renewal. The flamewalls divide their world into threes: three seasons and three ways of life, keeping them from the Spring and Winter people, about whom they must never ask.

Char is the first to spot the off-world landing vessels bearing the militaristic invaders whose intentions are far beyond her worldview.

Graft is a captive servitor and personal attendant to the Conquis, leader of the vanguard forces. The last survivor of a culture annihilated by conquest, Graft is tortured by grief and determined to avoid notice, but he soon recognizes how unprepared Char and her people are to deal with the invasion.

After one unsettling discovery leads to another, the newcomers find the nature of this land troubling and its denizens odd--perhaps nonhuman. When the mission turns darker, the inhabitants of the violated utopia must learn how to defend themselves or lose everything.

Inversion stages an experiment in new possibilities of living, a tale of social struggle set in a wildly unique universe animated by questions of climate collapse and collective action. Aric McBay weaves a tale in the visionary spirit of Ursula Le Guin's The Dispossessed and Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy.


"A masterful worldbuilding feat... Never heavy-handed or preachy, this thought-provoking work of speculative fiction is sure to linger in readers' minds." -- Publisher's Weekly, starred review

"Inversion is such a pleasure to read--it is richly backgrounded and genuinely engrossing. There are full and contradictory lives here, as well as a sense of immediacy, urgency, and awe. I found real and hard-won delight in it." -- Daniel Lavery, New York Times bestselling author of Texts from Jane Eyre

"Aric McBay's Inversion is a masterpiece of utopian resistance, where comprehension and cooperation are the keys to survival. The interconnected cultures of Germinal, like fire-adapted seeds, have developed into an environmental and social utopia... It's hope in a pocket universe, where the ability to look forward and back and inward is a deliberate, sustainable choice." -- Octavia Cade, author of The Impossible Resurrections of Grief

About the Author:

Aric McBay is an organizer, a farmer, and author of seven books, including the novel Kraken Calling and the non-fiction Peak Oil Survival and Full Spectrum Resistance (2 vols.). He writes and speaks about effective social movements and has organized campaigns around prisoner justice, Indigenous sovereignty, pipelines, unionization, and other causes.