MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Forbidden Knowledge (1987)
Kathryn Cramer
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Mathematical statements can sound pretty strange, practically humorous, when you don't know the technical definitions of the terms. This somewhat frightening story has such a statement as its punchline. Specifically, it all builds up to a quote from Irving Kaplansky's Fields and Rings:
We shall have no need to assign meaning to Ext itself; we shall speak only of its vanishing.
The story was published in 1987 in Rudy Rucker's collection Mathenauts, still the only place I know of to find it.

More information about this work can be found at another page on this Website.
(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 Forbidden Knowledge
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Drode's Equations by Richard Grant
  2. The Algebraist by Iain M. Banks
  3. The Fermata by Nicholson Baker
  4. The Math Code by Alex Kasman
  5. Big Numbers by Alan Moore / Bill Sienkiewicz
  6. Tangents by Greg Bear
  7. Mozart on Morphine by Gregory Benford
  8. Rama II by Arthur C. Clarke / Gentry Lee
  9. Sphere by Michael Crichton
  10. The Ragged Astronauts by Bob Shaw
Ratings for Forbidden Knowledge:
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:
3/5 (1 votes)
..

Categories:
GenreScience Fiction,
Motif
Topic
MediumShort Stories,

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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 Amazon.com 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)