a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Turing's Delirium (2007)
Edmundo Paz Soldan

Contributed by Vijay Fafat

This is a hacker-counter-hacker story set in Bolivia, where the newly resurrected president hires an NSA official to set up the country's counter-espionage / cyber-security unit ("Black Chamber"). The main thorn in the side is a computer terrorist named Kandinski. Black Chamber has on its side a cryptanalyst with decades of experiencing tackling various types of codes. And the game is on, with the inevitable mole inside Black Chamber, fevered dreams which feature the dreamer talking in first person as Charles Babbage, Turing, etc. The book intersperses mathematical references throughout, including a long description of the Enigma machine, Fermat and Mersenne primes, etc. At one point, the Black Chamber director recalls how, as a child, he was taught number theory by his mother using the book, "The Man Who Counted."

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Works Similar to Turing's Delirium
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Enigma by Robert Harris / Tom Stoppard
  2. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
  3. Tetraktys by Ari Juels
  4. The Crimson Cipher by Susan Page Davis
  5. The Mystic Cipher by Dennis Mangrum
  6. Bone Chase by Weston Ochse
  7. Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan
  8. The Turing Enigma by Peter Wild (Screenwriter and Director)
  9. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
  10. The Imitation Game by Morten Tyldum (director) / Graham Moore (screenplay)
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MotifReal Mathematicians, Turing,

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Exciting News: The total number of works of mathematical fiction listed in this database recently reached a milestone. The 1,500th entry is The Man of Forty Crowns by Voltaire. Thanks to Vijay Fafat for writing the summary of that work (and so many others). I am also grateful to everyone who has contributed to this website. Heck, I'm grateful to everyone who visited the site. Thank you!

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)