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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Dangerous Dimension by L. Ron Hubbard

The Dangerous Dimension by L. Ron Hubbard
Publisher: Galaxy Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (36 pgs)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

Dr. Henry Mudge undergoes a striking personality change when he discovers a mathematical formula "Equation C" that defines a mysterious negative dimension. He is instantly transported to any location in the solar system by merely thinking of it--even when he doesn't want to.

Ah, the power of thought. It is a strong entity on its own, but what if, with the right conditions, you could transport from right here to anywhere in the known universe… with just a single thought? When Dr. Henry Mudge stumbles upon the infamous Equation C, he enables the ability to do just that. Trouble is, just how on earth do you stop it?

From the moment you meet him, Henry Mudge is a bit muddled or, rather, addled. Late for a lecture he’s supposed to be giving, he spontaneously devises an equation to allow transport via thought. The existence of Equation C doesn’t make his life any easier, however, and results in more chaos than one man needs. I think, despite being tossed back and forth and held at the mercy of his own wandering mind, he holds it together quite well. It’s hysterical watching him zip back and forth between the lecture hall, his study, and a myriad of other unusual locales. Even though he’s at his wit’s end by the time he devises Equation D – the solution to the madness he created at the beginning of the story – he never really loses his appeal as a crazy scientist on the verge of a big discovery.

The Dangerous Dimension can be summed up quite well by this one quote, taken from early on in the story. “But Thought was drunk with power and would not be denied.” The idea that Thought is an entity of its own and that it could easily become drunk on power is a frightening one indeed. However, that’s exactly what happens inside these pages. Mudge loses control of his thoughts at various times and winds up in places he never dreamed – or desired – to visit. This short story was a wild and crazy ride through one man’s mind and where his whims might take him. A surefire laugh that will make you stop and think – or not – the next time you have a grand idea.

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