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The Lure (2007)
Bill Napier
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

Once again, a team seeking to decode Earth's first message from an alien species requires a mathematician. In this case, it is Tom Petrie, who has a reputation for being able to spot patterns:

(quoted from The Lure )

"I'm a mathematician. Nobody understands me, I work on ferociously specialised stuff."

"What sort of ferociously specialised stuff?"

"I supposed you'd call it pattern recognition. At the moment I'm doing knots."

"You mean like in string?"

"Yes, only I do them in four-dimensional space."

"I can't visualise that. No wonder nobody understands you. Anyway, it sounds useless."

"Don't you believe it. I've found links with quantum theory and cryptography." He patted his canvas bag as if it contained the secrets of the Universe...

In addition to the quote above, there is a page describing Petrie's youth and how he discovered his interest in mathematics which is notable. Aside from that, the mathematics mostly involves him staring at the data trying to spot a pattern. In the end, the numbers one through four are involved in his final explanation of what it is, and there are also some icosahedra involved, but for the most part it ends up being more about biology than math.

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Works Similar to The Lure
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Contact by Carl Sagan
  2. Pop Quiz by Alex Kasman
  3. Resistance is Futile by Jenny T. Colgan
  4. Artifact by Gregory Benford
  5. Ratner's Star by Don DeLillo
  6. His Master's Voice by Stanislaw Lem
  7. The Labyrinth Key by Howard V. Hendrix
  8. The Lure by Bill Napier
  9. Factoring Humanity by Robert J. Sawyer
  10. The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross
Ratings for The Lure :
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Mathematical Content:
2/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
2/5 (1 votes)

GenreScience Fiction,

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