The Planiverse: Computer Contact with a Two-Dimensional by Alexander Keewatin Dewdney (auth.)

By Alexander Keewatin Dewdney (auth.)

When The Planiverse ?rst seemed sixteen years in the past, it stuck quite a lot of readers off shield. the road among prepared suspension of dis- lief and blameless attractiveness, if it exists in any respect, is a skinny one. there have been those that desired to think, regardless of the tongue-in-cheek subtext, that we had made touch with a two-dimensional international known as Arde, a di- formed planet embedded within the epidermis of an enormous, balloon-shaped house known as the planiverse. it's tempting to visualize that those that believed, in addition to those that suspended disbelief, did so due to a persuasive consistency within the cosmology and physics of this in?nitesimally skinny universe, and x preface to the millennium version in its extraordinary yet oddly achievable organisms. This used to be not only your r- of-the-mill universe formed out of the entire fabric of wish-driven mind's eye. The planiverse is a more strange position than that accurately - reason a lot of it used to be “worked out” by means of a digital crew of scientists and technologists. fact, even the pseudoreality of one of these position, is - variably stranger than something we in simple terms dream up.

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Above the bed was a bottle of compressed gas which Ardeans call “hrabx”—somewhat akin to our oxygen. There are times when Ardean houses must be sealed off. Traditionally, this was a time for the inhabitants to enter a state not unlike suspended animation, as the air would otherwise grow progressively more stale, becoming unbreathable. This 12 THE PLANIVERSE The house was essentially a large, rectangular excavation subdivided by beams which were held together by double spikes and formed into a rigid, well-supported structure.

When the rower pushed up on the handle, the blades moved forward, folding out of the way so as not to 26 THE PLANIVERSE counteract the boat’s forward motion. There were no visible fasteners used in the boat’s construction; it was all held together by glue. Although it was night, things appeared on our screen just as they would in the daytime. The sea bottom was barely two meters below the boat and, judging from the boat’s progress over colonies of strange shellfish dwelling there, it was now moving forward swiftly.

For one thing, cutting would not be done by a knife but by a needle. For another, suturing was impossible. We were to discover much later on that very little surgery is done on Arde, that most external wounds are treated with clamps and that the greater part of Punizlan medical practice was based on orally administered drugs. By late afternoon the wind was dying and the last of the fishing fleet arrived at the beach. One by one the boats were rolled up on the firm sand, but they could not be as easily moved as on the previous night.

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