Doorways in the Sand
Analog Science Fiction & Fact, 1976
Harper & Row, 1976
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Fred Cassidy, thirteen years an undergraduate and an acrophiliac, joins Professor Paul Byler in a search for their laboratory replica of an alien artifact of interest to more than one interstellar community.
Lobachevsky alone has looked on Beauty bare.
She curves in here, she curves in here.
She curves out there.
Her parallel clefts come together to tease
With fewer than one hundred eighty degrees
Her glorious triangle lies.
Her double-trumpet symmetry Riemann did not court-
His tastes to simpler-curvedness, the buxom Teuton sort!
An ellipse is fine for as far as it goes,
But modesty, away!
If I'm going to see Beauty without her clothes
Give me hyperbolas any old day.
The world is curves, I've heard it said,
And straightway in it nothing lies.
This then my wish, before I'm dead:
To look through Lobachevsky's eyes.
Copyright © 1976 by Roger Zelazny
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