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. The Mystic Cipher by Dennis Mangrum
  4. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
  5. The Imitation Game by Morten Tyldum (director) / Graham Moore (screenplay)
  6. Mercury Rising by Harold Becker (director)
  7. The Thousand by Kevin Guilfoile
  8. Fermat's Room (La Habitacion de Fermat) by Luis Piedrahita / Rodrigo SopeƱa
  9. The Last Theorem by Arthur C. Clarke / Frederik Pohl
  10. False Witness by Randy D. Singer
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MotifReal Mathematicians, Turing,

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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 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)