Monday, August 07, 2006


Flatland: The Movie

(via the unflappable Karen Jones) Austin resident Jeffrey Travis has apparently been at work adapting Edwin Abbott's Flatland into a short movie, set for release this fall--though what kind of release it's not yet clear. An article from the Austin Chronicle this spring (in pdf) suggests he's going to be marketing it to children and classrooms, but I see no reason why the story of A. Square couldn't find a wider audience.

Of course, the nitpicker in me couldn't help but notice that in a world of only two dimensions (and perhaps a tiny bit of "thickness") it would be impossible for a creature to walk over grass--they'd have to walk around it, of course--and so the street scenes of the opening section drift quite a bit from Abbott's strictly mathematical vision, but I understand the need to sell the idea, and might be willing to forgive it, if the finished product lives up to the promise of some of the trailer's scenes.

By the way, the single best book on this sort of stuff--in addition to Abbott's own, of course--is Rudy Rucker's The Fourth Dimension, now sadly out of print. Well worth seeking out.

See also A.K. Dewdney's The Planiverse, which speculates how you might construct machines in 2D, how biological processes might work, even what physics and astronomy might look like in such a setting.
Thanks, Ted! I'll have to check it out.
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