A Cruise in a Soap Bubble

Bynner Lassetter | published 1891

added May 19, 2024
cover Image
First Date of Publication
Original Source
The Chase of the Meteor and Other Stories
Original Source Type
Short Story
Original Language
Kasman Review
Not in Kasman Database
Other Links
Summary: A dream-journey in a soap bubble to lower dimensions…

Story Tag Line: …and now he understood in a minute where all the card-board toys, the troops of soldiers, sailors, and statesmen, fine ladies, and peasant maids, which make up our collection of paper dolls come from; they are dropped through from Card-Board Land!

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  • Vijay Fafat
    Published on

    This book comprises stories of fantasy for young readers. “A Cruise in a Soap Bubble” is about the 2 sons of Mr. & Mrs. Dock, named William and Henry (but who were very obviously nicknamed “Hickory” and “Dickory”…). One afternoon, while bathing in a nearby brook and blowing large soap bubbles from a reed, they get carried away by a gigantic bubble to a few adventures. First stop - “Thin-Man’s Land”. They claim it is a “one-dimensional land” but they all look two-dimensional to others and have no trouble moving about in three dimensions. The boys stay with the king of the land but find over time that they themselves have started contracting into thin figures due to “a contracting power in the atmosphere”.

    The king of 1-D land has them escorted to “Cardboard Land”, where they have further minor adventures, including a 2-D tiger hunt. In the end, it turns out Dickory had just dreamt it all, having fallen asleep while reading Jules Verne’s “Voyage to the Moon”.

    There is no explanation of the standard geometrical concepts involved but the story belongs to the pantheon of yarns a la “Flatland”. That, and the antiquity of the story, form the very debatable justification for including this as “mathfiction”.