7

This story was in an anthology, maybe one of Fadiman's (I thought it was "Fantasia Mathematica" but it's not). Dates back to the 50s, probably.

3

1 Answer 1

11

"What Dead Men Tell", a novelette by Theodore Sturgeon which was also the answer to the question Corridor with a dead body turns out to be in a Möbius strip; first published in Astounding Science Fiction, November 1949, available at the Internet Archive. You may have read it in one of these compilations, most likely in Imagination Unlimited (E. F. Bleiler and T. E. Dikty, eds.).

Torus with triangular cross-section:

"If you take a piece of clay and make a long . . . uh . . . sausage out of it, and then form it so it has a triangular cross section; and then if you bring the ends together and rotate one one hundred twenty degrees and stick 'em together, you'd have a figure like that. It would have only one side, like the . . . what was it? . . . Mobius strip."

Artificial gravity:

With a conscious effort he opened his imaginative faculty. He had read fantasies in which antigravity and gravity-controlling devices had been used. Suppose his corridor really was circular—but vertically, like an automobile tire? And suppose, at its hub, was an artificial gravity device. Would he not then walk in a straight line, turning neither to right nor left, and then come back to his starting point? Such a fantastic device would have to compensate for the Earth constant, of course, but if he could imagine a gravity generator, a gravity insulator was no problem.

3
  • 1
    Nice! Sturgeon's titles are completely unhelpful. Feb 29 at 3:22
  • 1
    @OrganicMarble To be fair, so are most sci-fi titles. Even the masters like Asimov and Clarke had strange, ambiguous titles. Can't get much more generic than "The City and the Stars" or "The stars, like dust".
    – T. Sar
    Feb 29 at 14:59
  • Helaman Ferguson has a monumental bronze sculpture on the Stony Brook campus - it's a torus like this one (but no autonomous gravity). That shape occurs as an algebraic surface: link to the equations here (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helaman_Ferguson) Mar 14 at 5:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.