MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Annals of Klepsis (1983)
R.A. Lafferty
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A wacky sci-fi adventure comedy featuring space pirates. There is not much math in the book, but the central plot revolves around a mathematical ``doomsday equation'' and the goal of preventing the horrible fate it predicts for humanity:

(quoted from Annals of Klepsis)

The humanly inhabited universe, according to the best -- or at least the newest -- mathematical theory, does have a tertiary focus, and it is there that it is vulnerable. The humanly inhabited universe, with its four suns and its seventeen planets, is an unstable closed system of human orientation and precarious balance, a kinetic three-dimensional ellipse in form, with its third focus always approaching extinction. As with any similar unstable premise-system, the entire construct must follow its third focus into extinction. This is known as the `Doomsday Equation.'

The equation has been bad-mouthed because it originated on an asteroid and not a planet; but must we forever believe that planetary mathematics is always superior to asteroid mathematics?...

As a result, attempts to understand or alter the equation and characters with expertise in mathematics play a key role in the plot.

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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 Annals of Klepsis
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Dark Side of the Sun by Terry Pratchett
  2. Narrow Valley by R.A. Lafferty
  3. Message Found in a Copy of Flatland by Rudy Rucker
  4. The Zero Theorem by Pat Rushin (screenplay) / Terry Gilliam (director)
  5. Inside Out by Rudy Rucker
  6. The Girl with the Celestial Limb by Pauline Melville
  7. 1963 by Alan Moore
  8. Nymphomation by Jeff Noon
  9. Getaway from Getawehi by Colin Kapp
  10. And He Built a Crooked House by Robert A. Heinlein
Ratings for Annals of Klepsis:
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:
2/5 (1 votes)
..
Literary Quality:
3/5 (1 votes)
..

Categories:
GenreHumorous, Science Fiction,
MotifFuture Prediction through Math,
Topic
Medium

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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 Amazon.com 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)