MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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The Tachypomp (1873)
Edward Page Mitchell
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I can't believe this story is as old as it is! First published in Scribner's Magazine in 1873, it is only dated by its sexism and its contradition of Einstein. In order to win the hand of the beautiful Abscissa Surd, our hero must either invent a perpetual motion machine or figure out how to propel an object to an infinite velocity in a finite time. (These conditions are posed by her father...Abscissa has no say in the matter at all.) He does the latter...sort of.
Reprinted in Fantasia Mathematica.

Contributed by Anonymous

So cheery and uplifting! I first read this story in high school 40 years ago and remembered most details of this charming story! If I won the lottery, I would build a tachypomp!

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(Note: This is just one work of mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)

Works Similar to The Tachypomp
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Topsy-turvy (Sans Dessus Dessous) by Jules Verne
  2. Round the Moon by Jules Verne
  3. The Story of Yung Chang by Ernest Bramah (Ernest Bramah Smith)
  4. Professor Morgan's Moon by Stanley Waterloo
  5. The Geometrics of Johnny Day by Nelson Bond
  6. The Strange Case of Mr. Jean D. by Joao Filipe Queiro
  7. The Chair of Philanthromathematics by O. Henry (William Sydney Porter)
  8. Mathematicians in Love by Rudy Rucker
  9. No-Sided Professor by Martin Gardner
  10. And He Built a Crooked House by Robert A. Heinlein
Ratings for The Tachypomp:
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.
Mathematical Content:
2.25/5 (4 votes)
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Literary Quality:
3.75/5 (4 votes)
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Categories:
GenreHumorous, Science Fiction,
MotifRomance,
Topic
MediumShort Stories,

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Your Help Needed: Some site visitors remember reading works of mathematical fiction that neither they nor I can identify. It is time to crowdsource this problem and ask for your help! You would help a neighbor find a missing pet...can't you also help a fellow site visitor find some missing works of mathematical fiction? Please take a look and let us know if you have seen these missing stories anywhere!.

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)