MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Nightscape: The Dreams of Devils (2012)
David W. Edwards
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A teenage math prodigy is contacted by other-worldly beings through his nightmares. As the separation between dream and reality seems to disappear, he faces a supernatural threat with the help of a religious girl from his high school.

There really is quite a lot of mathematics in this horror/thriller. Sprinkled throughout the novel are brief but often informative references to number theory, to Georg Cantor's theory of transfinite cardinals and the Continuum Hypothesis, to Conway's surreal numbers, and to the notation used by mathematicians (such as the upside-down "A" that stands for the logical expression "for all"), among other things.

However, the connection between these interesting ideas and the unconvincing numerology, ancient mysticism, frightening demonology and obscure religious references (such as the so-called "2520 Prophesy") that are the focus of this novel was never clear to me. Perhaps some other readers will find this either entertaining or enlightening. Personally, I felt as if I was being subjected to the nonsensical ramblings of someone suffering from schizophrenia:

(quoted from Nightscape: The Dreams of Devils)

It's Hilbert's infinite hotel again, this time on a grander scale, with the Absolute as the greater infinity (the greatest, in fact) and the Earth, well, my Earth -- whatever I can create -- the lesser. Just as an infinite number of fractions exist between counting numbers, an infinite number of worlds can exist within the living universe of the Absolute. Is this what steady recitation of the Jesus Prayer revealed to the monks of St. Athos? That we exist as part of a subset of infinity and can create other comparable subsets if given the name of God? Exactly good. Numbers and prayer together -- how close to my habitual counting trick.

According to the cover, this novel was "inspired" by the author's film, "Nightscape". And, the introduction lists the non-fictional sources he consulted for information about mathematics.

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Works Similar to Nightscape: The Dreams of Devils
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Midnighters (Series) by Scott Westerfield
  2. Vampire World (Trilogy) by Brian Lumley
  3. A Logical Magician by Robert Weinberg
  4. Yesternight by Cat Winters
  5. Mysterious Mysteries of the Aro Valley by Danyl McLauchlan
  6. Matrices by Steven Nightingale
  7. Infinities by Vandana Singh
  8. What it Means When A Man Falls From The Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah
  9. Black Numbers by Dean Frank Lappi
  10. Mersenne's Mistake by Jason Earls
Ratings for Nightscape: The Dreams of Devils:
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:
4/5 (1 votes)
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Literary Quality:
2/5 (1 votes)
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Categories:
GenreFantasy, Horror,
MotifProdigies, Religion,
TopicInfinity, Real Mathematics, Logic/Set Theory,
MediumNovels,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)