a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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An Episode of Flatland (1907)
Charles H. Hinton

Hinton, whose biography is a little too weird for me to believe and whose essays on the fourth dimension (see for example A New Era of Thought) leave me wondering how much he really believed that the fourth dimension was the key to unifying humanity, wrote this short story based on Abbott's Flatland. It is now available on-line at Eldrich Press's Hinton site.

Contributed by Andrew

The story, from my recollection, is more based on a human's observations of the Flatland world than anything else.

Contributed by Sarah-Marie Belcastro

Pretty boring (like much of Hinton's writing), and not much in the way of math. Actually, this was the least boring of all of Hinton's fiction that I've read. Some of the characters believe that they can save their planet from disaster by using the 3rd dimension, but how they would accomplish this in practice is not revealed in the narrative. No 3D creatures come to save them... the text ends with nothing resolved.

Contributed by Marcus L. Rowland

Just to let you know - I have a complete version of Hinton's An Episode of Flatland on my web site, not the abridged version found on most sites.

I'm also the author of a Flatland Role Playing Game published in PDF and sold in aid of Doctors Without Borders. Any publicity you feel able to give it would be appreciated.

As of July 2023, the links above do not seem to be working. I have left the broken links as historical records and refer anyone interested in this story or Hinton himself to: (a) the Wikipedia entry on Hinton, (b) a historical novel about Hinton, and (c) this scanned version of the story provided by

More information about this work can be found at
(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 An Episode of Flatland
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Next Dimension by Vladimir Karapetoff
  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. Hinton by Mark Blacklock
  7. The Cube Root of Conquest by Rog Phillips
  8. The Extraordinary Hotel or the Thousand and First Journey of Ion the Quiet by Naum Ya. Vilenkin
  9. Surfing through Hyperspace by Clifford Pickover
  10. Message Found in a Copy of Flatland by Rudy Rucker
Ratings for An Episode of Flatland:
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:
2.75/5 (4 votes)
Literary Quality:
3.25/5 (4 votes)

GenreScience Fiction, Didactic,
MotifHigher/Lower Dimensions,
MediumShort Stories, Available Free Online,

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Exciting News: The 1,600th entry was recently added to this database of mathematical fiction! Also, for those of you interested in non-fictional math books let me (shamelessly) plug the recent release of the second edition of my soliton theory textbook.

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)