When the MBTA (Boston's Public Transportation authority) introduces a
new line, the topology of the network become so complex that a train
vanishes...lost in some fourth dimensional properties of the network.
The mathematics in this story is not always accurate. In particular,
I disagree with the statment that a MÃ¶bius strip always has one
singularity and a Klein bottle has two. (In fact, the standard
versions of these topological curiosities are nonsingular manifolds.)
Maybe the author is confusing the "twisting" required to make these objects
from twosided 2dimensional objects with singularity.
Apparently, this story was made into a movie!
Reprinted in Fantasia Mathematica.
Contributed by
walter leight
"I read this story when it first came out  more than a half century ago  and recalled it in a conversation today, leading me to this web site and an opportunity to vote. Clearly, it was memorable!" 
Contributed by
Dan Jensen
"It has been many years since the one and only time I read "Subway". I can't recall any particular details of the story, except the main plot. That is why I only gave it a "3" on your scale. I do remember that when I read it as a young teen (I'm now in my mid 40s) I thought it was a very good story, and it introduced me to the unusual world of topology. Whenever I see an M.C. Escher print, I am reminded of this story. I'd like to reread it from an adult point of view, if I could find it again." 
Contributed by
Patrick T. Ayers
I read this story once accidentally (I don't recall how I found it) and was intrigued by it greatly.

Contributed by
Jack Gjovaag
Suspend belief and ignore the mathematical flubs and it is an interesting science fiction story, about as good as most in this typically mediocre genre.

Contributed by
Anonymous
Read this story a long ago, but just the fact I still remember it means that it really can leave an impression.. Math is not at all accurate, but the idea is intriguing enough to let you think about it a while, which is what counts.

Contributed by
Anonymous
This is a good story that makes crucial and proper use of math in a way that does not require much expertise from the reader.

Contributed by
Maurizio Dagradi
I've read this [story] in the 70's, when I was a boy, and I loved it.
Although the story stays vague on how a subway network, even if grown extremely complex, could trigger multidimensional behaviours, the atmosphere you breath while reading the novel is very intriguing and fascinating. It led me to learn some topology, and I was amazed.

Contributed by
Rich
I keep rediscovering this story in anthologies every 15 or 20 years. I love it! My very first exposure to it, though, was actually as a story in one of the Marvel Comic anthologies in the 60's. I was delighted the first time I discovered the original story.

Contributed by
Anonymous
The math may not be accurate, but the story couldn't exist without the math in question, so I gave it a 4 on that. 5 for literary quality I read it in an old anthology I found at a yard sale and loved it.

Contributed by
Fred W
Read this as a kid and loved it at the time. Opens a child's mind to many possibilities. Would like to read it again and see how I relate to it these many years later.

Contributed by
Anonymous
I read this soon after it was published in the 50's, and I've just got back from the 4th dimension.

Contributed by
J Judson
I probably still have the original magazine in the attic. Since I am arithmetically challenged I have no right to judge its accuracy, but it certainly was memorablefor more than fifty years. And it can be found in various anthologies. As for that lofty smart aleck who finds the sf field mediocre, he should really get to know it betterAsimov, Clarke, le Guin, Ellison, Sturgeon, Russ, Delaney, Dick, Heinlein, etc etc etc? Come on, wise guy!

Contributed by
Jim "Suldog" Sullivan
My Father owned some collections of science fiction, published in the 1950's, and I devoured them when I was a child in the 1960's. Being from Dorchester (a neighborhood of Boston mentioned prominently in the story), and also a frequent rider of the MBTA, I was particularly intrigued by this. I have reread it perhaps 10 or 12 times since the initial reading. I am not wellversed enough in mathematics to pass serious judgement on that aspect of the tale, but it DID introduce me to topology and I've found what little study I've made of it fascinating, so I've always been thankful to the author for that!

Contributed by
John Mitchell
Very much my favourite scifi short story ever.

Contributed by
Fritz
I did a science fair project on Mobius strips back in 1957. More recently, I began wondering about multisided Mobius strips. The only conjecture (no proof) I have is that the first partial turn always reduces n sides to one. I got up to ten sides and saw some patterns begin to appear with each partial turn, but I haven't carried it any further. I would surmise that the problem has been investigated by minds more skilled in these matters than mine!

