a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
|It was the Monster from the Fourth Dimension (1951) ||Al Feldstein |
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction
by the same author)
I found a story from a Weird Science issue of 1951 (i believe it's # 7) titled It Was the Monster From the Fourth Dimension. It's written and drawn by Al Feldstein.
It is about a farmer whose farm is haunted by a creature resembling a floating piece of raw meat: the creature can change in shape and size and even disappear (a cow vanishes along with it). The farmer asks for advice to his brother, a scientist, who understands the creature is actually a four-dimensional being intersecting our three-dimensional world: the changes on shape and size depend on which part of the body is intersecting our universe and the cow was transported in the fourth dimension (the situation is explained by comparing it to a three-dimesional being passing through a two-dimensional world, in a Flatland-like fashion, though the book is never mentioned). In the end, the scientist is able to travel into the fourth dimension and somehow kill the alien, but he himself dies in doing so.
Unfortunately, the depth of narration is that of 1950s comic books and the consequences of a fourth spatial dimension are not well exploited, perhaps not fully understood, by the author (most notably the alien is shown to hurl itself against a closed door instead of entering the room through the fourth dimension).
Thanks to Wikipedia I can confirm this story is the first from #7.
I'm not certain the story deserves the 2/5 I gave it as "literary quality" (it quite shows its age), but I'm a great fan of retro sci-fi.
|(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.)|
May 2016: I am experimenting with a new feature which will print a picture of the cover and a link to the Amazon.com page for a work of mathematical fiction when it is available. I hope you find this useful and convenient. In any case, please write to let me know if it is because I would be happy to either get rid of it or improve it if that would be better for you. Thanks! -Alex
(Maintained by Alex Kasman,
College of Charleston)