a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Dichronauts (2017)
Greg Egan
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

The protagonist(s) in this story are symbiotic creatures who can only see in all directions when they work together because the laws of physics in their world have strange implications for the way that light can travel.

This novel is clearly a philosophical descendant of Flatland and very similar to Egan's recent Orthogonal Series which takes place in a universe whose spacetime metric is entirely positive (unlike ours in which one of the four components is negative).

The relevant mathematics here is that of hyperbolic geometry. In fact, the cover of the book shows a planet whose surface is a hyperboloid! Hence, this novel ought to be compared with Christopher Priest's Inverted World and Stephen Baxter's Pacific Mystery. Of course, being Greg Egan, he takes it much farther than either of those two authors.

Egan is known for writing "hard science fiction" in which plot and character development take a back seat to an exploration of the consequences of some unusual technology or physical laws. In their review, Publisher's Weekly wrote: "Impressively bizarre . . . Egan may have out-Eganed himself with this one."

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Works Similar to Dichronauts
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Clockwork Rocket [Orthogonal Book One] by Greg Egan
  2. Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin Abbott Abbott
  3. The Pacific Mystery by Stephen Baxter
  4. The Inverted World by Christopher Priest
  5. The Arrows of Time [Orthogonal Book Three] by Greg Egan
  6. The Eternal Flame [Orthogonal Book Two] by Greg Egan
  7. Incandescence by Greg Egan
  8. Dark Integers by Greg Egan
  9. Schild's Ladder by Greg Egan
  10. Diaspora by Greg Egan
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GenreScience Fiction,
TopicGeometry/Topology/Trigonometry, Mathematical Physics,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)