Today I sold a SF story to Galaxy’s Edge, “Pretty Pictures at War.” The story is about a billionaire who declares war on the 4-D world that humiliated him. The story will be in the March 2016 issue. It’s my 73rd short story sale.
This is the third SF story I’ve sold that involves a battle between 3-D and 4-D worlds. It’s a strange type of battle that’s rather hard to imagine. To a 4-D being, a 3-D world is like an animated picture on the wall, rather like a 2-D picture in a 3-D world. How do they battle with 4-D beings? You’ll have to read the stories!
The first of the three, “First Cat,” was one of my first sales, way back in 2006 to the Twisted Cat Tales Anthology (and since resold to two other anthologies). It was a humorous farce about 4-D beings invading Earth through a portal they create in the Oval Office in the White House, and how the president’s cat, after getting its brain partially sucked into the fourth dimension and thereby dramatically increasing its intelligence due to the increase in brain cells, saves the day. (They increase in number the same way a 3×3 matrix in a 2-D world has 9 squares, but in a 3-D world it becomes 3x3x3=27 cubes.)
The second was “The Awakening,” which won the 2010 Garden State Horror Writing Competition, and was then published in 2011 in Space and Time Magazine. (It was a cover story.) This was the story of an artist from a 4-D world who, playing around with Earth, pulled part of a fly’s brain into the fourth dimension, thereby dramatically increasing its intelligence just as with “First Cat.” The rest of the story is about the fly going to war first with the human who tried to swat it, and then with the 4-D artist and his world.
The first of the three was humorous SF; the second horror SF; and the third straight SF with a humorous edge. What’s next, a doomed romance story between 3-D and 4-D beings?
Moving everything down one dimension, my first novel, “Sorcerers in Space,” featured Jim, the world’s only two-dimensional sorcerer, described as a glowing white sheet of paper that twisted in the air like a luminescent jellyfish, with a single giant almond-shaped blue eye centered on it. (His primary magical power was that whenever good things happened, people credited him, though he rarely had anything to do with it.) If I ever get to writing a sequel to that, central to that will be Jim’s 2-D world going to war with us!
I don’t know of any other stories or novels that feature battles between 3-D and 4-D beings. (We’re talking actual 4-D beings, not 3-D beings that can travel in other dimensions.) In the Futurama episode “Mobius Dick” they battle a 4-D space whale. Anyone know other examples, or perhaps an example of battles between 2-D and 3-D beings? Comment below!
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