Equilateral markets itself as “an intellectual comedy”. Math, particularly geometry and trigonometry feature heavily in the plot and thus if you don’t like them, this one’s probably not for you. That being said, just like geometry is more than lines on a page, there is much below the surface of this story. It’s commentary on relations, on how we see ourselves and the other and on the end of the 19th century- the cusp of modern achievement, but also the sweep of empire and expansion.
I found myself thinking of Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, as I read this- not only because they both address Mars but also because they both address the claiming of land and of others and an attempt to craft it into our own vision. This book must be read metaphorically to appreciate it fully. It’s different from what I usually read, but it was interesting. I like layered stories- both reading and writing them, and there are many layers in Kalfu’s novel. I was convinced that something was going to happen and it didn’t. Or perhaps, it did and Kalfus simply didn’t spell this out for us; maybe he was keeping it slightly ambiguous, like the surface of Mars itself. A triangle can be perfectly equilateral, without the interior filled in after all.
My best to you all,