Flatland is a novel by Edwin Abbott Abbott about a two dimensional world. The story tells the tale of a humble square as he guides us through some of the idioms of life in two dimensions.
He has a dream about visiting Lineland, a one dimensional world and while there try's to convince the worlds leader that a second dimension exists. He finds it impossible however to make anyone there believe in the possibility of anything more than a straight line.
Square is then visited by Sphere, a being who exists in three dimensions, an idea he cannot conceive of until he see's Spaceland. It is sphere's calling to visit Flatland at the turn of each millennium to introduce someone new to the idea of Spaceland and three dimensions and he hopes to eventually educate the population to the existence of Spaceland.
Once Square acknowledges the existence of the third dimension, Sphere tries to convince him of the further existence of a fourth (and fifth, and sixth ...) spatial dimension.
Created in 1884, this novel has many satirical observations of the social hierarchy of Victorian culture, although it's most sucessful contribution is the examination of dimensions. Isaac Asimov once described the novel as "The best introduction one can find into the manner of perceiving dimensions"
Still popular among students of Mathematics Physics and Computer Science students, several short experimental films have been made of the novel including one narrated by Dudley Moore and one starring Martin Sheen called Flatland the Movie. The was also a feature film created in 2007 called Flatland.
Written on Sunday 4th July 2010 by Antony.
SFBook is entirely funded by Ant including hosting, development and any other costs.
If you enjoy the site please consider a small donation towards the cost of the upkeep and development of SFBook.