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Dewdney, A K

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1941-    ) Canadian mathematician and computer scientist whose sf novel, The Planiverse: Computer Contact with a Two-Dimensional World (1984), intriguingly updates Edwin A Abbott's Flatland (1884); its Flatland protagonist, Yndrd, attempts to penetrate from his world of Arde into an epiphanous "reality beyond reality", making contact as he does with a roundworld Computer programmed to simulate two-dimensional existence (see Dimensions). The portrayal of two-dimensional life provided by Dewdney is a remarkably sustained Thought Experiment – despite some crudities in the actual writing of the book – and is an education in the understanding of Mathematics.

Dewdney is one of the later occupants of Martin Gardner's "Mathematical Games" slot in Scientific American: under Dewdney this was titled "Computer Recreations" and later "Mathematical Recreations". He published three collections of this material, beginning with The Armchair Universe: An Exploration of Computer Worlds (coll 1988). Yes, We Have No Neutrons: An Eye-Opening Tour through the Twists and Turns of Bad Science (1997) examines flawed science and Pseudoscience; the inclusion of SETI as one such example is perhaps controversial. [JC/DRL]

Alexander Keewatin Dewdney

born London, Ontario: 5 August 1941


nonfiction (selected)


Scientific American

individual titles


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