MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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To Say Nothing of the Dog (1998)
Connie Willis
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Travelling through time, as we all know, is a dangerous business. One small change in the past and you could mess up the future! In this science fiction novel, Willis proposes a (vaguely mathematical) view of spacetime as a self-regulating chaotic system.

The plot is this: A time traveller whose job is to try to locate an ugly flower vase that disappeared from a British cathedral just before it was bombed by the Nazis goes back to the Victorian era to help another traveller (also love interest) correct the anomaly she created by saving a cat from drowning. Frequent references to Three Men in a Boat, the classic British comedy by Jerome K. Jerome.

The words "chaos" and "nonlinear" are thrown around and there is one brief reference to Charles Dodgeson's (aka Lewis Carroll's) theory of condensation of matrices. Otherwise, there is no math here.

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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 To Say Nothing of the Dog
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman
  2. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
  3. Infinities by John Barrow
  4. The Bones of Time by Kathleen Ann Goonan
  5. Conceiving Ada by Lynn Hershman-Leeson
  6. The Loom of God: Mathematical Tapestries at the Edge of Time by Clifford Pickover
  7. The Difference Engine by William Gibson / Bruce Sterling
  8. Quicksilver: The Baroque Cycle Volume 1 by Neal Stephenson
  9. Oracle by Greg Egan
  10. Mathematicians in Love by Rudy Rucker
Ratings for To Say Nothing of the Dog:
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:
1.1/5 (5 votes)
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Literary Quality:
4.67/5 (6 votes)
..

Categories:
GenreHistorical Fiction, Humorous, Science Fiction,
MotifTime Travel,
TopicChaos/Fractals,
MediumNovels,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)