MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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The Perfect Spiral (2001)
Jason Hornsby
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This first novel by controversial young author Jason Hornsby was written when he was 18 years old. It combines elements of genres in an avant garde sort of way, and focuses on the lives of teenagers in his own hometown. The idea of the Fibonacci sequence and its associated logarithmic spiral seems to be an important theme, being mentioned a few times throughout the book as well as in the title and cover image.

I have not yet been able to obtain a copy of this book, but from the little bit I've read using the search feature on Amazon, I suspect that he does not really have much of an understanding of the math he discusses. For example, he says that the ratio of any two successive terms in the sequence is the irrational number φ, which doesn't actually make any sense. (He isn't that far off, of course, but the ratio of any two terms in the sequence obviously must be rational by definition, and these ratios are not all equal to each other. The truth is that if rn is the nth term divided by the n+1th term, and if ε is any small positive number, then there is a number N so that rn is closer to φ than ε for every n bigger than N; in other words φ is the limit of the sequence of ratios.)

Anyway, the point is that Hornsby just seems to use the notion that this sequence and irrational number show up in nature as some sort of metaphor. I hope to read the book someday so that I can comment more specifically on what it is he achieves by this. Or, perhaps if you've read it already, you can write to me about this and I'll post your comments here.

Thanks to Vijay Fafat for bringing this book to my attention.

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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 Perfect Spiral
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
  2. Threshold by Bragi F. Schut / Brannon Braga / David S. Goyer / Dan O'Shannon
  3. The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross
  4. Cube by Vincenzo Natali (Director)
  5. Killing Time by Frank Tallis
  6. Pi by Darren Aronofsky (director)
  7. A Catastrophe Machine by Carter Scholz
  8. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
  9. Schwarzschild Radius by Connie Willis
  10. The Hollow Man by Dan Simmons
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Categories:
GenreScience Fiction, Horror,
Motif
Topic
MediumNovels,

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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)