a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
[This] is a short, zany, tall-tale reminiscent of Heinlein's "And He Built A Crooked House". Someone ends up making a 3-dimensional, unfolded projection of a 5-dimensional hypercube, a Penteract. The object, when dropped accidentally on the floor, ends up becoming a 4-spatial-dimensional tesseract extending into Time, leading to slap-stick comedy on planetary scale. The penteract builder explains how the higher dimensional objects are made from lower dimensional ones (the author gets the number of cubes and tesseracts required to make a Penteract incorrect, using 64 cubes instead of 40 and mentioning that a Penteract has 8 tesseracts instead of 10). The "Ifth" and "Oofth" in the title refer to 2 spatial dimensions orthogonal to our 3-D (though only one of them ends up being used).
This classic science fiction story by the author of The Color of Money (yes, the straight fiction story that became a Paul Newman film) originally appeared in Galaxy Science Fiction magazine in 1957 and (at least at the moment) is available for free online here.
|More information about this work can be found at johnesimpson.com.|
|(Note: This is just one work of
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Exciting News: The total number of works of mathematical fiction listed in this database recently reached a milestone. The 1,500th entry is The Man of Forty Crowns by Voltaire. Thanks to Vijay Fafat for writing the summary of that work (and so many others). I am also grateful to everyone who has contributed to this website. Heck, I'm grateful to everyone who visited the site. Thank you!
(Maintained by Alex Kasman,
College of Charleston)