I first encountered the terms ana and kata when reading William Sleator’s book The Boy Who Reversed Himself. (By the way, if you’re a YA science fiction/horror fan and you’ve never read anything by William Sleator, you should remedy that immediately.)
Ana and kata are the two additional directions available in the fourth dimension. See the chart below:
|Dimensional space||Movement that can be made in that space|
|2-Dimensions||Forward, backward, right, left|
|3-Dimensions||Forward, backward, right, left, up, down|
|4-Dimensions||Forward, backward, right, left, up, down, ana, kata|
Fans of Madeleine L’Engle will no doubt associate the term tesseract with “a wrinkle in time.” More accurately, a tesseract is the 4-space extension of a 3-space cube (which is itself an extension of the 2-space square). The words tesseract, ana, and kata were all coined by mathematician Charles Howard Hinton in 1888.
When researching dimensional vocabulary for my WIP, I also came upon this little chart, giving me trength, tarrow, and trong to work with.
|Dimension||Measure||Small Measure||Great Measure|
Now, the trick is to pull all this geometry into an adventure kids will want to read. I’m going for a Doctor Who meets The Boy Who Reversed Himself meets Interstellar Pig meets 14. (I know that a “meets” statement isn’t very effective if the elements aren’t well known books or movies, but let me give you an idea of what I have in mind …)
I’ll leave you with one last picture: This is a diagram I created for my WIP. My story takes place at The Breach.