MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Of the many works of fiction that are published, very few involve mathematics or mathematicians. However, people who like mathematics (or are mathematicians ourselves) may especially enjoy reading those few that do. Moreover, as I argue in an article in the AMS Notices, mathematicians should be interested in these works of "mathematical fiction" even if we do not enjoy them because they both affect and reflect the non-mathematician's view of this subject.

Therefore, the list at this site is collected both for your pleasure and professional interest. If you happen to know of any other examples, please let me know. All of the comments and opinions expressed below belong to Alex Kasman unless otherwise attributed.

Notes: Since it is not especially significant to the purposes of this list, I am not differentiating between fiction which refers to actual mathematics and literature in which the mathematics itself is fictional. (In the case of "science", this distinction is sometimes made by calling the former "science in fiction" and the latter "science fiction".) Also, I am not being especially critical of what I put on the list. In cases in which it is not clear whether a work of fiction should be listed here, I would prefer to include it erroneously than to exclude it.
As it turns out, there are many, many, many books written for children that present mathematics in a fictional or semi-fictional context. As a result, I have become more picky about which examples of this particular type of "mathematical fiction" am inclined to include. New entries of this type must be unusual (e.g. unusually good, unusually interesting,...) to be included.

In Association with Amazon.com AMAZON ASSOCIATES PROGRAM: You may notice that most of the books and short stories on this website contain links to Amazon. As part of their "associates" program, we get a small percentage of any sales that are made through our links. The money from these sales will go to the Math Department at the College of Charleston. So, if you are considering buying some mathematical fiction, please consider doing it this way...think of it as a good cause!

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May 2016: I am experimenting with a new feature which will print a picture of the cover and a link to the Amazon.com page for a work of mathematical fiction when it is available. I hope you find this useful and convenient. In any case, please write to let me know if it is because I would be happy to either get rid of it or improve it if that would be better for you. Thanks! -Alex

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)