Synopses & Reviews
The year is 1981, and in the computer lab of a large university a group of graduate students and their professor are hard at work on the departmental mainframe, graphically modeling an imaginary two-dimensional world. The project is going well, extraordinarily well, when one student suddenly notices that the world they are building on-screen is...inhabited!" "So begins A. K. Dewdney's tale of discovery and communication with the two-dimensional civilization of Arde. Since its original publication in 1984, The Planiverse has developed a kind of cult readership, following in the footsteps of Edward Abbot's nineteenth-century classic Flatland. As a kind of mental puzzle or brain-teaser, it challenges and delights, inviting readers to imagine just how a two-dimensional world might actually work. But the book is also a fable, serving as a cautionary tale about the difficulties of communication from one totally alien world to another, and suggesting that it is not only Yendred and his fellow 2-D Ardeans who cannot imagine dimensions beyond those they see.
"Once you have been captivated by the two-dimensional Ardean world, the problems facing its difficult technology haunt you, begging for more solutions. Arde easily becomes a puzzle without end." Erik Sandberg-Diment, The New York Times
When The Planiverse ?rst appeared 16 years ago, it caught more than a few readers off guard. The line between willing suspension of dis- lief and innocent acceptance, if it exists at all, is a thin one. There were those who wanted to believe, despite the tongue-in-cheek subtext, that we had made contact with a two-dimensional world called Arde, a di- shaped planet embedded in the skin of a vast, balloon-shaped space called the planiverse. It is tempting to imagine that those who believed, as well as those who suspended disbelief, did so because of a persuasive consistency in the cosmology and physics of this in?nitesimally thin universe, and x preface to the millennium edition in its bizarre but oddly workable organisms. This was not just your r- of-the-mill universe fashioned out of the whole cloth of wish-driven imagination. The planiverse is a weirder place than that precisely - cause so much of it was worked out by a virtual team of scientists and technologists. Reality, even the pseudoreality of such a place, is - variably stranger than anything we merely dream up."
A classic book about life in a two-dimensional universe, written by a well-known author. Now brought back into print in this revised and updated edition, the book is written within the great tradition of Abbott's Flatland, and Hinton's famous Sphereland. Accessible, imaginative, and clever, it will appeal to a wide array of readers, from serious mathematicians and computer scientists, to science fiction fans.
Table of Contents
Intro: 2DWorld.- Arde.- A House by the Sea.- On Fiddib Har.- Walking to Is Felblt.- City Below Ground.- The Trek.- The Punizlan Institute.- Traveling on the Wind.- High on Dahl Radam.- Drabk the Sharak of Okbra.- Higher Dimensions.- Appendix.- Acknowledgements.