Space Bender

Edward Rementer | published Dec, 1928

added May 31, 2024
cover Image
First Date of Publication
Dec, 1928
Original Source
Amazing Stories
Original Source Type
Magazine - Pulp
Short Story
Original Language
Kasman Review
Summary: A message-in-a-bottle, showcasing the trans-dimensional adventure of a professor of mathematics.

Story Tag Line: “It would be an axiom of the geometry of the mapworld that parallel lines could not meet. Yet if two mapworld professors should travel sufficiently far along two of their supposed parallel lines known as meridians of longitude, they would find they did meet at the poles. If they were not blockheads, this fact would prove the existence of a third dimension.”

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  • Vijay Fafat
    Published on

    This is another story which uses the convenient device of the fourth dimension for rapid spatial transport. This time, Prof. Jason Livermore is the one who disappears entirely from the face of the earth one night. Twenty years later, his assistant is brought a mysterious bottle by a construction worker; the bottle was found during a dig at a site and is made of an unbreakable, glass-like substance (an alloy similar to copper, though why it should be transparent is anybody’s guess). The bottle contains a manuscript which is a first person account by Prof. Jason about his adventure on Venus.

    In the manuscript, he explains how the concept of fourth dimension makes perfect sense (going through the explanation of spherical/map geometry, creatures in 2-D, convergence of parallel lines on curved surfaces, etc) and how Time itself is a relative concept, that it cannot exist without Space. Turns out that he has built an instrument called “Space Bender” which can curve two spatial positions in close proximity like the pages of a book. So he brings Venus in Earth’s proximity along the 4th dimension and simply rolls off of earth on to the surface of Venus… There he meets a humanoid species which has evolved from feline ancestors who have very strange customs. The professor hopes to escape someday and return to Earth using the Space Bender.

    The manner of the bottle and the manuscript’s arrival on earth is never explained or even alluded to. The story was apparently intended to be a satire on some human traits, as explained by the editor at the end of the story, but I myself failed to see it that way. A very flat story.