Plane People

Wallace West | published Nov, 1933

added Jun 1, 2024
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First Date of Publication
Nov, 1933
Original Source
Astounding Stories
Original Source Type
Magazine - Pulp
Medium
Short Story
Original Language
English
Kasman Review
ISFDB
Tags
Summary: A war between some people from earth carried off into space on a flat meteor, and flatland…

Story Tag Line: A Story of the Second Dimension!
Above them, the heavens were filled with a savage glory. The razor-edged ‘planet hurled itself at the Earth like a buzz saw.

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Reviews

  • Vijay Fafat
    Published on

    A space-operatic story which implements Edwin Abbott’s world of Flatland. A perfectly flat comet strikes earth at a glancing angle and sheers off a very small part, including a few people, who discover that the comet is inhabited by two-dimensional, centipede-like creatures. Standard mathematical explanations of the third dimension as extrapolation of two dimensions along a third perpendicular direction follow:

    “Dr. Adolph Strauss, Astronomer: “In fact, I am not a plane figure but a solid, made up of an infinite number of circles, squares and other geometric figures placed on top of one another. I am a creature called Man”

    Before long, an internecine war is triggered in the 2-D kingdom by the appearance of the 3-D entities. The creatures learn to appreciate and build into the third dimension because they have a slight extension in that direction. After considerable melodrama, the halcyon state of affairs is restored and the humans hope to be able to build rockets to head back to earth. Presumably, the comet carried some part of our atmosphere as well for the poeple to breathe but how the comet has any gravity or life is unexplained; there is a brief mention of “the centrifugal” force due to the comet’s rotation, which the author apparently believes can hold people on to the surface. A very standard pulp affair.