It was a ring ship, Pabuji’s Gift, a broad ribbon caught in a circle five hundred metres across, with a twist that turned it into the single continuous surface of a Möbius strip. The ship’s motor hung from a web of tethers and spars at the centre of the ring; its hull was studded with the cubes and domes that contained workshops, utility bays, power units...I drew inspiration (novelist's jargon for 'pretty much lifted the idea') from Californian artist Tim Hawkinson's extraordinary Möbius Ship, which I stumbled across in the wilds of the internet while I was planning the novel:
'...a painstakingly detailed model ship that twists in upon itself, presenting the viewer with a thought-provoking visual conundrum. The title is a witty play on Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick, which famously relates the tale of a ship captain’s all-consuming obsession with an elusive white whale.'
At least, I though that was the entirety of my inspiration. But a couple of weeks ago, while I was looking for spaceship art on the covers of paperbacks on my double-stacked bookshelves, I found an image of a twisted town by artist John Berkey which may very well be an ancestor of Gajananvihari Pilot's ring ship: