“O day and night, but this is wondrous strange...”
Flatland, a masterwork of science fiction by Edwin Abbot is a delightfully unique and highly entertaining satire that has charmed readers for more than 100 years.
It describes the journeys of A. Square, a mathematician and resident of the two-dimensional Flatland, where women—thin, straight lines—are the lowliest of shapes, and where only men may have any number of sides, depending on their social status.
In just a few pages Abbott manages to describe an entirely self-absorbed society that is unable to accept new science or ideas that are beyond their views of normality.
His characters are all mathematical objects with a rigid hierarchy based on the number of sides a resident of Flatland has.
"This pre-Einstein geometrical fantasy is one of the best things of its kind that has ever been written… it is an easy philosophical introduction to the Fourth Dimension, and a rebuke to everyone who holds that there is no reality beyond what is perceptible by human senses."
— Saturday Review
“The best introduction one can find into the manner of perceiving dimensions.”
— Isaac Asimov
“One of the most imaginative, delightful and, yes, touching works of mathematics, this slender 1884 book purports to be the memoir of A. Square, a citizen of an entirely two-dimensional world.”
— Washington Post Book World