A Modern Comedy of Science

Issac Nathanson | published Apr, 1936

added Jun 6, 2024
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First Date of Publication
Apr, 1936
Original Source
Amazing Stories
Original Source Type
Magazine - Pulp
Medium
Short Story
Original Language
English
Kasman Review
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Summary: Higher Dimension used to exact justices, with some rueful and comedic consequences…

Story Tag Line: “NOTICE TO ALL AUTOMOBILE DRIVERS

Reckless driving must stop immediately. Anyone exceeding a speed limit of twenty five miles per hour within the city limits, crashing red lights, or in any manner or form wilfully breaking the safety traffic rules, shall promptly suffer serious damage to his car.

THE UTOPIAN REFORMER.”

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Reviews

  • Vijay Fafat
    Published on

    Prof. Newell “had a reputation for his profound researches into the realm of theoretical physics; a great mathematician in the thin heights where few could follow him. His lectures on the fourth dimension, in which he specialized, had always been fascinating”. His young daughter was killed by a speeding automobile a couple of years ago, an incident which left him a broken man. But he recovers from the trauma, determined to implement some social engineering by taking on a secret identity of “Utopian Reformer”. As he explains to the stereotypical story-prop, the newspaper-man,

    “after years of intense research into unknown fields of mathematical physics, to discover a plane of existence which the science of the higher mathematics has long pointed to, although never materialized, and which, for want of a better name, has been called the fourth dimension. I have evolved a practical means of entering this hitherto closed fourth-dimensional plane or sphere of existence through a powerful process of manipulating and bending the space-time relationship, or Einsteinean Interval.”

    With this ability to utilize the higher dimension to achieve invisibility, he starts issuing public-service dictats to regulate social behavior, beginning with enforcement of road speed limits and meteing out punishments for violations by causing destruction of vehicles through the fourth dimension. This is followed by a few other adventures, including beating up the town mayor, forcing a few government officials to resign, and so on. Till he suffers some equipment failure and gets discovered.

    The story ends with standard passages explaining higher dimensions, analogy with flatlanders, etc.