a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall (2012)
Nancy Kress
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

The last 26 humans alive resort to kidnapping children from the past in order to save themselves from the oppressive aliens who keep them in "The Shell". Mathematics enters in the form of Julie Kahn, a statistician working for the FBI in 2013 (which is "the past" in the novel) who discovers a pattern in the kidnappings that leads her to the strange truth.

There really isn't much math here (the word "algorithm" is thrown around a lot), but it is always nice to see a hero (or heroine) using mathematics, and the format of the novel (three separate timelines interwoven, as the title suggests) is effective.

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Works Similar to After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Time, Like an Ever Rolling Stream by Judith Moffett
  2. The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua
  3. The Investigation by Stanislaw Lem
  4. Reading by Numbers by Aidan Doyle
  5. The Image in the Mirror by Dorothy Leigh Sayers
  6. Mirror Image by Isaac Asimov
  7. Moriarty by Modem by Jack Nimersheim
  8. The Four-Color Puzzle: Falling Off the Map by Lior Samson
  9. The Translated Man by Chris Braak
  10. The Clockwork Rocket [Orthogonal Book One] by Greg Egan
Ratings for After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall:
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:
1/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
4/5 (1 votes)

GenreMystery, Science Fiction,
MotifAliens, Female Mathematicians, Time Travel,

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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)