|How would you feel if your daughter could make deep mathematical
discoveries, even when she was a toddler? If you were the parent of
little Star in this story, you'd feel a combination of pride and fear.
Star and her equally smart little friend not only discover the
interesting properties of the Mobius strip on their own,
they also discover higher dimensional generalizations which allow them
to travel to other points in time. ("Do they travel to the future or
the past?" you ask. Oh, you clearly do not understand the topology
of spacetime. Let Star explain to you why this question does not
The only places I have seen this story reprinted are the collections Mathematical Magpie and Time Machines, but GalaxyeZine promises to have at least excerpts from the story here soon.
"I first saw this in "Tomorrow's Children", edited by Isaac Asimov. If you look at the review of Tomorrow's Children at Amazon, you will see that this story is memorable enough that it is mentioned in some of the reviews.
I'm torn between 2 and 3 as far as the math is concerned. Math (well, geometry) isn't as central to this as, for instance, "He Built a Crooked House", by Heinlein. It's probably more important than the stange, hyperspatial geometries that appear in some of Lovecraft's stories."
Note that this story was transcribed for radio's "X minus 1." It aired in April
of 1956. Also
note that Star Bright is very similar L'Engle's "A Wrinkle in TIme." Instead of
father hunting down
children lost in time/spave, children hunt down lost father. Same vehicle, the t
esseract is used in both.
A teacher read Star Bright to my class years and years ago. I still find it as amazing as ever, it's rather depressing (not literally) to believe that their is a perfect circle of life. Yet in its context, the book seems to be explanatory, not a tale. I've been looking for another copy of it everywhere ever since.
As a gifted teen, I've noticed a classification like the one in the story fits well. Though Star would call me a tween, I classify folks in 3 main categories - bright/gifted/"smart" like myself, "stupid", and everyone in between. Wonderful story.
Great Story. My sister and I read this together, shortly after it was published. We now read it to our grandchildren, while we struggle with how to ease the way of exceptionally bright children. Our educational system focuses on the lowest common denominator, how can we find and free the minds of children like Star?
I first read "Star Bright" when I was in Jr. High, in the collection "Tomorrow's Children". This story really struck a chord with my young self (I'm 52 now). I was already interested in sci-fi, but this story helped to cement the love into place permanently. Although there isn't all that much math in the story, nevertheless, it helped stimulate my interest in math by the mention of the Moebius strip and it's higher dimensional analogs.
I really enjoyed this story because it depicts the struggles that exceptionally bright kids encounter as they try to fit in to the mold of the general population. It also gives insight about how a parent deals with having a genius child. Along with mathematics, the time-traveling aspect adds another dimension to the plot.