MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Crunch (2003)
John Gould
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Contributed by Vijay Fafat

A short story in which a man tries to explain to his son, Barry, the relative sizes of things when the child happens to ask, “How small is in-fin-ite-ly small?”. So father and son start exploring the idea of large numbers and the counting process and naturally arrive at infinity. As the father puts it, “Infinity isn’t a concept I run into often, myself, in my world with the government. Billion dollar and trillion dollar dents are routine but what would an infinite amount of debt look like, exactly?”. From there, they flip the thinking process to discuss smaller and smaller sizes, using the analogy of cutting any given object in progressive halves forever (As they discuss this and the related concept of the universe collapsing in a big crunch into an infinitesimal dot, the son asks the inevitable existential question – what banged in the Big Bang?

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Works Similar to Crunch
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Long Division by Michael Redhill
  2. Only Say the Word by Niall Williams
  3. La formula di Ramanujan by Marco Abate (writer) / P. Ongaro (artist)
  4. Alphabet by Chelsea Spear
  5. The Last Casino by Pierre Gill (director) / Steven Westren (screenplay)
  6. The Mathematician Repents by Estep Nagy
  7. The Infinities by John Banville
  8. The Housekeeper and the Professor (Hakase No Aishita Sushiki) by Yoko Ogawa
  9. Welcome to Paradise by Paul David-Goddard / Helen Miller
  10. School Scandalle by Marla Weiss
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(unrated)

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Categories:
Genre
Motif
TopicInfinity,
MediumShort Stories,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)