MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Incident on Simpac III: A Scientific Novel (2018)
Doug Brugge
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In this science fiction novel, human colonization of extra-solar planets is guided by "synthesis", mathematical algorithms that make determinations about the best course of action in the future based on data collected on all previous attempts. This method works well in general, ensuring peace and prosperity on these new worlds, but not on Simpac III!

Brugge, a Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University, suggests in the end notes that the idea for the book may have been influenced by his academic career:

(quoted from Incident on Simpac III: A Scientific Novel)

It is possible that my emersion in epidemiological concepts informed much of my thinking about the predictive methodology that I invented and called synthesis in Simpac. The synthesis concept has much in common with epidemiology. Like epidemiology, synthesis is a statistical method, although vastly more complex, that requires input data that has been painstakingly collected. It then uses this data to calculate outcomes. For synthesis, however, the outcomes are social policy instead of health.

He also observes that this idea is reminiscent of the field of "psychohistory" from the Foundation. (The end notes are called "The Science Behind the Fiction: In the Shadow of Asimov".)

Contributed by Allan Goldberg

Incident on Simpac III by Dr. Doug Brugge, 2018 (Springer Science and Fiction series) is IMHO a rather uninspired narrative that has too many extraneous characters and details and has other characteristics that would have benefited from better editing. However, it thematically employs an extension of Asimov's Psychohistory (found in his Foundation Series), and may therefore qualify for inclusion in your website. The Scientific Appendix of the book, available as a free PDF on the relevant Springer website, provides a review of the author's take on the fictional mathematics.

Note: Since this novel was published by Springer as part of their SCIFICT book series, people with an academic affiliation may be able to read it for free through SpringerLink.

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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 Incident on Simpac III: A Scientific Novel
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Psychohistorical Crisis by Donald Kingsbury
  2. Foundation by Isaac Asimov
  3. In The Country of the Blind by Michael Flynn
  4. Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan
  5. Risqueman by Mike Wood
  6. A Calculated Life by Anne Charnock
  7. Perry Rhodan 2638: Zielpunkt Morpheus-System by Marc A. Herren
  8. Strange Attractors by Charles Soule (author) / Greg Scott (Illustrator)
  9. To The Power Against by Carrie Smith (writer) / Stephanie Lantry (Artist)
  10. The Rock by Robert Doherty
Ratings for Incident on Simpac III: A Scientific Novel:
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)
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Literary Quality:
1/5 (1 votes)
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Categories:
GenreScience Fiction,
MotifFuture Prediction through Math,
TopicProbability/Statistics,
MediumNovels,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)