free hit counter code The Planiverse: Computer Contact with a Two-Dimensional World - GoBooks - Download Free Book
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

The Planiverse: Computer Contact with a Two-Dimensional World

Availability: Ready to download

A classic book about life in a two-dimensional universe, written by a well-known author. Now brought back into print in this revised and updated edition, the book is written within the great tradition of Abbott's Flatland, and Hinton's famous Sphereland. Accessible, imaginative, and clever, it will appeal to a wide array of readers, from serious mathematicians and computer A classic book about life in a two-dimensional universe, written by a well-known author. Now brought back into print in this revised and updated edition, the book is written within the great tradition of Abbott's Flatland, and Hinton's famous Sphereland. Accessible, imaginative, and clever, it will appeal to a wide array of readers, from serious mathematicians and computer scientists, to science fiction fans.


Compare
Ads Banner

A classic book about life in a two-dimensional universe, written by a well-known author. Now brought back into print in this revised and updated edition, the book is written within the great tradition of Abbott's Flatland, and Hinton's famous Sphereland. Accessible, imaginative, and clever, it will appeal to a wide array of readers, from serious mathematicians and computer A classic book about life in a two-dimensional universe, written by a well-known author. Now brought back into print in this revised and updated edition, the book is written within the great tradition of Abbott's Flatland, and Hinton's famous Sphereland. Accessible, imaginative, and clever, it will appeal to a wide array of readers, from serious mathematicians and computer scientists, to science fiction fans.

30 review for The Planiverse: Computer Contact with a Two-Dimensional World

  1. 4 out of 5

    Koen Crolla

    A lot of people have written sequels and homages to Flatland , and most of them only managed to live up to the original by virtue of that original not being very good to begin with. When people call Planiverse ``a worthy successor'', though, they are doing it a disservice. The Planiverse started its life as (what has consistently been called) a monograph titled Two-Dimensional Science and Technology, and much of the book's quality can be credited to Martin Gardner's picking up and advertising A lot of people have written sequels and homages to Flatland , and most of them only managed to live up to the original by virtue of that original not being very good to begin with. When people call Planiverse ``a worthy successor'', though, they are doing it a disservice. The Planiverse started its life as (what has consistently been called) a monograph titled Two-Dimensional Science and Technology, and much of the book's quality can be credited to Martin Gardner's picking up and advertising that monograph in Scientific American; dozens of clever people, including physicists, geologists, and engineers, wrote in with elaborations, corrections, and suggestions, almost all of which apparently made it into the novel. The story itself isn't all that interesting—it lacks Flatland overt satire, which is probably for the best; when Stewart tried to include a feminist message in Flatterland , it just came off as ham-fisted and patronising—but it doesn't really need to be. Flatland's asshole sphere is traded for a bunch of college students and a teleprinter (which is adorable), its top-down view for a more interesting side-scroller, and its endless confusion over dimensions for an exploration of the physical implications of a two-dimensional world. The result is a compelling novel which I'm surprised hasn't been made into a short film or video game yet. Apparently it inspired Creatures (dude, remember Creatures?), but I don't think that counts. Actually, if anyone wants to do the art for a game, I'm up for the programming side of things.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jlawrence

    Simply one of the best and most detailed/well-thought-out alternate worlds ever presented in print. From the computer simulation (oh, how I wanted to play with exactly such a program) through which the protagonists make contact with a complex, living two-dimensional world, to the many illustrations detailing that world's flora, fauna, architecture, engineering, and art: a delight. Plus Yndred's a cool fellow.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sinjin

    This book taught me to appreciate the third dimension.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    A delightful exploration of an alternate universe which had me looking at our 4 dimensions in a whole new way

  5. 4 out of 5

    David Hibberd

    This is a brilliant description of life in a two-dimensional world. The concept is that through the use of a computer simulation the instructor and his students gain contact with one of the inhabitants of the world. It is that contact that gives the details about the 2D world. What makes this such a fascinating book are the many illustrations. From simple things like how do the inhabitants get past each other when traveling in opposite directions to complex issues such as the construction of thei This is a brilliant description of life in a two-dimensional world. The concept is that through the use of a computer simulation the instructor and his students gain contact with one of the inhabitants of the world. It is that contact that gives the details about the 2D world. What makes this such a fascinating book are the many illustrations. From simple things like how do the inhabitants get past each other when traveling in opposite directions to complex issues such as the construction of their underground dwellings all are covered. Of the thousands of books I have read during my lifetime, The Planiverse ranks among my top three. Perhaps that is why I am reading it for my third time. This is an excellent read, especially for the science minded readers.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Miel

    Such an addictive, wild journey of a book! Why this doesn't have more of a cult following, I will never understand. While it isn't entirely flawless, I couldn't help but give it 5 stars. A book has not excited me this much in a very long time.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Satwik

    At the forefront, I think the “sequel of Flatland” appellation usually given to Planiverse does much disservice to it. Rather, a simple “Flatland-inspired world” ought to be enough to pay homage to Abbott’s masterpiece without causing subconscious comparisons between the two while reading. Overall, it is an intriguing book to read, and the general tone is of scientific inquisition, something I enjoyed significantly. Kudos to the author’s imagination and his scientific rigor in wanting to make our At the forefront, I think the “sequel of Flatland” appellation usually given to Planiverse does much disservice to it. Rather, a simple “Flatland-inspired world” ought to be enough to pay homage to Abbott’s masterpiece without causing subconscious comparisons between the two while reading. Overall, it is an intriguing book to read, and the general tone is of scientific inquisition, something I enjoyed significantly. Kudos to the author’s imagination and his scientific rigor in wanting to make our lower-dimensional (or were they? ;) ) brethren seem plausible to the skeptic-minded. More than a narrative structure, the book reads as a world-building exercise and a sort of thinly-veiled (or rather with a thin padding of a story) fable presenting the author’s attempt at scientifically sound construction of 2D equivalents of the sciences. The intricate animal biology, the mechanical constructs of the Planiverse mechanics and the allied descriptions, are interspersed with occasional parallels (satirical?) with our own societies’ political constructs. On the down side, I felt it was very little story and too much world building. A lot of excessive descriptions of the 2D-universe gets a little stale after a while, especially the really redundant pieces towards the middle part. Here is where the Flatland comparison is detrimental, since not only does Planiverse not enjoy the element of first-time intrigue as did Flatland, but also lacks the general strength of story that was important in the latter. Moreover, many ideas are repeated (Although Planiverse adds a great deal to the universe and is considerably different from that of Flatland). Some parts were laboriously slow moving, and I felt the ending was a bit too abrupt and perhaps, unnecessarily cryptic. Final Verdict: A free-time read. A great read for those who have not read Flatland, a moderate-to-good read for those who have. Enjoyable if you like world-building books.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alexander

    A little slow in the beginning, but a fascinating thought experiment in action. This book not only sparked my imagination wondering what the rest of Arde looks like, but it pleased the analytical portion of my brain as well. There is a surprising amount of real life science that backs up a lot of what is stated in the book. I have no doubt that if we were able to observe a 2 dimensional world such as the one described in the book, a lot of the theoretical science would be confirmed. I found the A little slow in the beginning, but a fascinating thought experiment in action. This book not only sparked my imagination wondering what the rest of Arde looks like, but it pleased the analytical portion of my brain as well. There is a surprising amount of real life science that backs up a lot of what is stated in the book. I have no doubt that if we were able to observe a 2 dimensional world such as the one described in the book, a lot of the theoretical science would be confirmed. I found the students to be no different from Yendred the Ardean: two dimensional. They were unnecessary characters that didn't contribute to the story much. If you can look past the paper thin plot that sets up Yendred's adventures in the Planiverse, you won't be disappointed. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed Edwin Abbott's "Flatland", which should be mandatory reading before tackling this book. Also if you are particularly interested in any of the STEM fields, please give this book a look. There's plenty of science in here to excite you.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne Boyarsky

    I'm not sure if this is fiction with a really well fleshed out world or non-fiction with a story to disguise it. My library says the Dewey Decimal code is 530.8 so non-fiction it is! The book is cool. It traces a college class as they interact with a character in a 2D world. But it is *really* well thought out. There is a lot of biology and physics at first - underground houses, doors, how beings move about, eat, etc. There is a separate language pattern and alphabet that comes up. As the main ch I'm not sure if this is fiction with a really well fleshed out world or non-fiction with a story to disguise it. My library says the Dewey Decimal code is 530.8 so non-fiction it is! The book is cool. It traces a college class as they interact with a character in a 2D world. But it is *really* well thought out. There is a lot of biology and physics at first - underground houses, doors, how beings move about, eat, etc. There is a separate language pattern and alphabet that comes up. As the main character moves through the world, he goes into space and sees schools, factories, etc. There's an appendix with more science too. There were lots of images which really helped visualize what was going on! The book ends by speculating about more dimensions which was a fitting end. I enjoyed reading this book whether it is classified as fiction or non-fiction!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mark White

    A technically fascinating look at a two dimensional universe this book is also a surprisingly sweet story of friendship, adventure, spirituality and self discovery with a wistful, bittersweet ending. Vastly more sophisticated in both plot and execution than Flatland, this is a fully functional two dimensional universe. Yendred, the protagonist, is a fully formed and sympathetic character whose adventures will have you on the edge of your seat. The writing style is very economical and that this i A technically fascinating look at a two dimensional universe this book is also a surprisingly sweet story of friendship, adventure, spirituality and self discovery with a wistful, bittersweet ending. Vastly more sophisticated in both plot and execution than Flatland, this is a fully functional two dimensional universe. Yendred, the protagonist, is a fully formed and sympathetic character whose adventures will have you on the edge of your seat. The writing style is very economical and that this is all accomplished in such a concise fashion is a lesson to authors who take two or three times as many pages to achieve far less. I think this book should have broad appeal from early teens upwards.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stoa

    Flatland for speculative fiction fans, instead of Victorian-era satire. Two-dimensional biology and physics are given amazingly detailed treatments. Really interesting read even for a general audience. Wish it was much longer.

  12. 4 out of 5

    R. Keith

    I read this as a kid - and have re-read it again many times over the years. An incredible piece of imagination. Incredibly detailed and emotionally moving. This is simply one of my favorite books of all time.

  13. 4 out of 5

    David Leemon

    While embedded in a bit of a melodramatic story, the description of a universe of only two dimensions is interesting and much more detailed than the story in Flatland.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Biology evolution lectures

  15. 5 out of 5

    Scout

    What a wild premise. If you thought Flatland was kind of cool but kind of stupid, this is Flatland if the author actually really thought about it... like really thought about it. Ideas for two-dimensional physics, biology, mechanics, games, social customs, and theology. Plot? Not so much. But who needs plot when you can find out how digestion works in two-dimensional animals!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Guilherme

    A fictional story that serves as a good exploration of how biology, mechanics and weather could work in a 2D environment. The plot's kinda crummy, though.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tom Palmer

    I found this to be a totally absorbing look into life in two dimensions. Far more detailed and thought out than, "Flatland", The Planiverse follows characters across their flat environment and explains how all their structures work. I found an epiphany at the end when one of the characters finds a way to leave the 2-D landscape and enter the 3-dimensional world.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Paul Weimer

    The Planiverse: Computer Contact with a Two Dimensional World by AK Dewdney The setting is a graduate program in the early 1980's. Computers are mainframes, time and resources are precious, and programs are primitive at best. A group of students led by their professor decide to model a two dimensional world--with the deptyh and horizontal axis rather than the horizontal and vertical axes of Flatland. It starts as an exercise in pure physics, mathematics and computer science, until their model som The Planiverse: Computer Contact with a Two Dimensional World by AK Dewdney The setting is a graduate program in the early 1980's. Computers are mainframes, time and resources are precious, and programs are primitive at best. A group of students led by their professor decide to model a two dimensional world--with the deptyh and horizontal axis rather than the horizontal and vertical axes of Flatland. It starts as an exercise in pure physics, mathematics and computer science, until their model somehow connects to a real two-dimensional world, and an inhabitant, YNDRD, who can hear them in his mind. And with YNDRD as our guide, we begin to learn about himself and the two dimensional Planiverse that makes his home... Its a classic for good and many reasons. Dewdney's characters, with the exception of a little unnecessary and half-baked melodrama, are easily recognized academic types, jealous of their prize, and eager to learn more and more about the world they have inadvertently contacted. The Planiverse is a marvel of a gedankenexperiment--how could an inhabitable two-dimensional world exist and what would it be like? YNDRD goes on what is ultimately a spiritual quest (the novel can be thought of, really as a sufi story)--so there is a fair dollop of philosophy mixed in with the science.So we get to see a wide swath of his world, his beliefs and his life,and learn about it all as he makes his journey. Although the technology has changed over time, the novel can comfortably be thought of as taking place in the early 1980's rather than as a contemporary novel. Once upon a time, computers really were this primitive. There are lots of asides and text boxes exploring some of the concepts touched upon, as well as appendices that give the Planiverse even more depth. It's an amazing book and definitely suited to those who would want to think about the implications and puzzle of a two-dimensional world. The narrative itself is pretty basic and straightforward--but the universe, man, is where this novel shines. Dewdney's conceit in making the novel at first seem like a first hand account of a real event gives it verisimilitude, and the level of detail, as said above, sells it. Highly Recommended.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    My mind rebelled at the obvious, to me at least, flaws in the logical premise of the book. I know this is fiction, but you have to draw the line somewhere. Straight from the prolog we get off on the wrong foot. The 2D world is in a computer. I am fine with that. The computer is in a high school. What? The world has been created by the students programing it. Your kidding right? When the 2D world encouters a 2D being that communicates with the students and teacher they see a graphical change to t My mind rebelled at the obvious, to me at least, flaws in the logical premise of the book. I know this is fiction, but you have to draw the line somewhere. Straight from the prolog we get off on the wrong foot. The 2D world is in a computer. I am fine with that. The computer is in a high school. What? The world has been created by the students programing it. Your kidding right? When the 2D world encouters a 2D being that communicates with the students and teacher they see a graphical change to the image of the being. So a spell was just cast because there is no way for that to happen, I don't care how good you are at programing. They made a working climate. No they made a fake climate that ignores physics. The inhabinates of the world live underground, in homes that could not be built according to the weather they created without flooding. See if you dig a hole you have to put the material you remove somewhere. Where you put it becomes a dam and there is no way to take down the dam without killing yourself. Trust me I gave this some thought and there is no way to get this done. That is just 2 chapters into the book. I just can't bring myself to read more of this crap.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jason Mills

    This purports to be an account of a computer programming project to simulate of a two-dimensional world. 'Somehow' the software makes contact with a 'real' two-dimensional universe. Our author is able to communicate with one of the inhabitants via the keyboard as this flat fellow goes on an exploratory semi-mystical journey through his squashed world. Unlike Edwin Abbott's classic (and dull) Flatland A Romance of Many Dimensions, this 2D world is a sideways cross-section: our hero and his friends This purports to be an account of a computer programming project to simulate of a two-dimensional world. 'Somehow' the software makes contact with a 'real' two-dimensional universe. Our author is able to communicate with one of the inhabitants via the keyboard as this flat fellow goes on an exploratory semi-mystical journey through his squashed world. Unlike Edwin Abbott's classic (and dull) Flatland A Romance of Many Dimensions, this 2D world is a sideways cross-section: our hero and his friends live on the edge of a disc-planet and have to walk over the top of each other to get past. The book is peppered with panels showing how technology could be made to work in this peculiar world, and this, along with the light-hearted tongue-in-cheek charm of the story, makes the book a delightful box of curiosities to the scientific mind.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Takes the mind-blowing qualities of its inspirations, Edwin Abbott Abbott's classic Flatland and Charles Hinton's "An Episode of Flatland," and takes them to the next level. (Sorry. Couldn't resist.) Instead of generally exploring worlds of lesser and greater dimensionality than our own, Dewdney seeks to create a two-dimensional world with internally consistent rules of physics, chemistry, biology, and technology, and succeeds admirably. That he is also able to tell a funny, touching story a Takes the mind-blowing qualities of its inspirations, Edwin Abbott Abbott's classic Flatland and Charles Hinton's "An Episode of Flatland," and takes them to the next level. (Sorry. Couldn't resist.) Instead of generally exploring worlds of lesser and greater dimensionality than our own, Dewdney seeks to create a two-dimensional world with internally consistent rules of physics, chemistry, biology, and technology, and succeeds admirably. That he is also able to tell a funny, touching story about the computer science professor and his students who discover this alien world just adds to the enjoyment. Highly recommended for those who like expanding their minds, and especially for those seeking to create their own fictional worlds.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Of course this book begs comparisons to Flatland...though not as well known as that famous romp through a world with only two dimensions, I believe this book is much better. Dewdney put a lot of thought in the way a civilization must necessarily be set up in a two-dimensional world - how will the laws of physics affect these creatures and their world? How can a two-dimensional creature have a digestive tract without being cut in half? How to pass each other in the street? How to build a dwelling Of course this book begs comparisons to Flatland...though not as well known as that famous romp through a world with only two dimensions, I believe this book is much better. Dewdney put a lot of thought in the way a civilization must necessarily be set up in a two-dimensional world - how will the laws of physics affect these creatures and their world? How can a two-dimensional creature have a digestive tract without being cut in half? How to pass each other in the street? How to build a dwelling that can be easily maneuvered through? This book asked and answered questions before I even thought of them, and truly expanded the way I thought about the 2nd - and of course, the 3rd and 4th - dimension, as well as tackling ideas about philosophy, evolution, and intelligent ingenuity. If you were intrigued by Flatland, read this book. Your imagination will thank you.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Adina

    I think this is probably one of my all-time favorite books. It’s a novel with a plot, but it also goes super in-depth into how everything would work in a 2-dimensional world. And I mean everything - biology, astrophysics, chemistry, weather, transport and traffic, painting, musical instruments, writing, computers, everything. To go along with the fascinating worldbuilding there is a pretty gripping plot about a 2-dimensional being who befriends some 3-dimensional university students and takes th I think this is probably one of my all-time favorite books. It’s a novel with a plot, but it also goes super in-depth into how everything would work in a 2-dimensional world. And I mean everything - biology, astrophysics, chemistry, weather, transport and traffic, painting, musical instruments, writing, computers, everything. To go along with the fascinating worldbuilding there is a pretty gripping plot about a 2-dimensional being who befriends some 3-dimensional university students and takes them along with him on a spiritual journey he’s making across his planet. I can’t recommend this book enough.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    Whereas Flatterland was a sequel to Flatland and, likes its predecessor, focuses Moreno geometry and physics, Dewdney explores what a two-dimensional world would be like for sentient creatures similar to humans. It's predecessors (at least the two I previously mentioned) dismiss these questions outright but Dewdney takes them on and really pushes my thinking about these concepts even further. At times I felt the detail of the fiction was a little unnecessary but mostly I found the story of Yendr Whereas Flatterland was a sequel to Flatland and, likes its predecessor, focuses Moreno geometry and physics, Dewdney explores what a two-dimensional world would be like for sentient creatures similar to humans. It's predecessors (at least the two I previously mentioned) dismiss these questions outright but Dewdney takes them on and really pushes my thinking about these concepts even further. At times I felt the detail of the fiction was a little unnecessary but mostly I found the story of Yendred to be engaging and thought-provoking.

  25. 4 out of 5

    adllto

    A fascinating book which may be literature but also speculative science and even philosophy. What would a world that functioned in only two dimensions really look like? How would the flora and fauna develop and if there was intelligent life how would they think and what would their spirituality be like. You need go no further than Planiverse. I'm sad to get rid of this book because of it's uniqueness but the decluttering has to continue. I'm glad to have had a last read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Subin Sahu

    This is science-fiction with lots of science in it. It has really interesting description of physics and engineering of two dimensional world. Interestingly the book also gives you ways to imagine how the four dimensional world would behave. But the downside of the book is that it doesn't have enough story in it (may be because things are so limited in 2D world). Anyway anyone interested in science shold find this book interesting.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Fred D

    Absolutely fascinating book. The most detailed, plausible description of a 2-D world I have ever read. I was fascinated by all the descriptions of how biology worked in a 2-D world, as well as physics, geography, and engineering. A bunch of computer geeks somehow make contact with a 2-D creature in another universe through their computer. Again, utterly fascinating.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Neven

    Even though I find the concept of this book super interesting, the book itself just bored me immensely. The same happened with Flatland, the original "two-dimensional universe" narrative. In both cases, I found the framing gimmick gimmicky, the prose tedious, and the math of the thing explained dryly and without clever insight. Maybe it's just me.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten Zirngibl

    I loved this book overall. The narrative framing was effective, and the storytelling lubricated the exposition/world building just enough for consistent engagement. There were many little "aha" moments within it, and you can tell it was a ton of fun to develop. It resonated a lot more than Flatland. Recommended with any fan of world building!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Adrian Herbez

    I've read this twice, and enjoyed it thoroughly both times. A. K. Dewdney is great- right up there with Martin Gardner for making math, science, and (more specific to him) computer science interesting and fun.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.