MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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The Next Dimension (1947)
Vladimir Karapetoff
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"A Mathematical Play in Five Dialogs". Once again, we are treated to the Flatland notion of two-dimensional creatures pondering a "hypothetical" three dimensional existence. Many of the usual concerns are here ("How can we protect ourselves if a three dimensional creature could simply reach into our homes and take things without even disturbing the four walls?") but there is a good deal more mathematical sophistication than in most.

This work of Mathematical Fiction was published in the quarterly Yeshiva University journal Scripta Mathematica in the 1947 Volume XIII. Thanks to Sandro Caparrini (Torino, Italy) for pointing it out to me.

Contributed by Sarah-Marie Belcastro

"The story is incomplete! Only three of the five dialogs are printed, after which is written (To be continued. I searched subsequent issues of Scripta Mathematica, but found no followup; Google didn't find any reference to the ending; finally, I discovered that the Karapetoff died in 1948 (this was published in 1947) so perhaps he never completed the manuscript. He wrote another story, Are You Plus or Minus? published in the Saturday Evening Post, v200 #22 p.146, Nov 26, 1927, but I haven't had a chance to get it from microform at the library yet."

(Note: This is just one work of mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)

Works Similar to The Next Dimension
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. An Episode of Flatland by Charles H. Hinton
  2. Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin Abbott Abbott
  3. Sphereland: A Fantasy About Curved Spaces and an Expanding Universe by Dionys Burger
  4. Technical Error by Arthur C. Clarke
  5. The Appendix and the Spectacles by Miles J. Breuer (M.D.)
  6. The Kissing Number by Ian Stewart
  7. Surfing through Hyperspace by Clifford Pickover
  8. The Extraordinary Hotel or the Thousand and First Journey of Ion the Quiet by Stanislaw Lem
  9. And He Built a Crooked House by Robert A. Heinlein
  10. Message Found in a Copy of Flatland by Rudy Rucker
Ratings for The Next Dimension:
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.
Mathematical Content:
5/5 (1 votes)
.
Literary Quality:
3/5 (1 votes)
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Categories:
GenreScience Fiction, Didactic,
MotifHigher/Lower Dimensions,
TopicGeometry/Topology/Trigonometry,
MediumShort Stories,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)