The Story Behind the Story: “The Dangerous Dimension”

Astounding Science Fiction magazine cover featuring The Dangerous Dimensions Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

“The Dangerous Dimension,” L. Ron Hubbard’s first science fiction story was published in the July 1938 issue of Astounding Science Fiction. Hubbard later said he considered it fantasy, but critical opinion has consistently embraced it as innovative science fiction.

It was the first of thirty-one novels and stories—under Hubbard’s name and such pen names as Rene Lafayette and Kurt von Rachen—that would appear in that magazine alone over the next twelve years.

Hubbard gave many lectures during his life. His archives has preserved and transcribed them all. On 6 December 1952, in his relaxed manner, he mentioned his story entitled, “The Dangerous Dimension.”

“Wrote a story one time. Used to have a lot of fun writing stories. I love to write stories.

“Little fellow, Professor Mudge. Professor Mudge. He was supposed to have found in Spinoza the way to teleport automatically. And all he had to do was think of a place and he would be there. And if he thought of a place he would be somewhere else and if he thought of another place he would be there, but he couldn’t get it under control. And he was having one horrible time; he was just having a dreadful time because he knew there was one place he mustn’t think of—one place above all others of which he must not think, under no circumstances, and he was just gritting his teeth for fear he would think of it before he found the remedy by which he could control this. And when it came all the way through to the end, he at last could think the thought—‘the sun.’ He mustn’t think of the sun.”

“The Dangerous Dimension” is currently available within the book The Professor Was a Thief.