Christopher Priest wrote 'Inverted World' in 1974. It is a science fiction classic, where a city travels forever onwards on a giant set of railway lines, for fear they will all die if they stop.
The city is technologically advanced in many ways, such as their ability to synthesize food, but technologically inept in others, as they have no means of producing new materials for the never ending railway that stretches ahead of them. This train of thought led me to the "IBM Blue" colour for the cover.
A small portion of the city's population is dedicated to the surveying of the future destination of the city, the protagonist being one of these people. It is this important task that has inspired the image on the front cover, a strange assemblage of cartographers lines and grids. Distorting this image helps to show the mystery and strange occurences that happen throughout the book, as well as in the world of the book itself.
"He was a microcosm of the city:
he could no more rest that it."
-Inverted World p. 166