It is 1848 and the British Empire has grown rich exploiting Lilliputian slaves - the finesse of their working allowing unheard of feats of minature engineering; even Babbage's computing device has been made to work.
But now the French have formed a regiment of previously peaceful Brobdingnagian giants and invasion looms. In a world where humanity is both smaller and larger than it once was, love and hate loom large.
Mankind discovers itself at the centre of scale. Lilliptians are twelve times smaller than us but there are those twelve times smaller than them, and twelve times smaller again and so on. And the scale of being goes up from Swift's giants also . . .
Adam Roberts has written both a rip roaring 19th century adventure, a love story and a thought-provoking pre-atomic SF novel about our place in the universe.