MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Immortal Bird (1961)
H. Russell Wakefield
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Professor Brandley, a "young" man of 53, wants nothing more than to attain the position of Regius Professor of Pure Mathematics at the Metropolitan University in London so that he could train "disciples who would carry on [his] work and disseminate [his] ideas." Unfortunately, old Professor Canopy has that position and has no intention of retiring soon despite being well past his prime. And so, when Canopy invites Brandley up a dangerous old staircase to view the "bands of Jupiter" through a telescope, it is not entirely clear that it was an accident that Canopy ends up falling to his death. Then, the birds that had been so friendly to Canopy during his life, seek (and eventually attain) their revenge.

This "ghost story" by one of the more famous British horror story writers of the early 20th century is hard to find today due to that author's waning popularity. Still it ought to be sought out by fans of mathematical fiction as the only published ghost story I know of in which both the haunt and the haunted are mathematicians!

Thanks to Sandro Caparrini (Torino, Italy) for pointing this one out to me! He claims that it originally appeard in Strayers from Sheol (Sauk City, Wis: Arkham House, 1961) and which has recently been reprinted in Canada.

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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 Immortal Bird
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Shadow Guests by Joan Aiken
  2. The Judge's House by Bram Stoker
  3. Killing Time by Frank Tallis
  4. Schwarzschild Radius by Connie Willis
  5. Brain Dead by Charles Beaumont (writer) / Adam Simon (director)
  6. You Don't Scare Me by John Farris
  7. Through the Gates of the Silver Key by H.P. Lovecraft / E. Hoffmann Price
  8. The Dreams in the Witch-House by H.P. Lovecraft
  9. The Giant Claw by Fred F. Sears (director)
  10. The Hollow Man by Dan Simmons
Ratings for Immortal Bird:
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:
3/5 (1 votes)
..
Literary Quality:
3/5 (2 votes)
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Categories:
GenreHorror,
MotifEvil mathematicians, Academia,
Topic
MediumShort Stories,

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Your Help Needed: Some site visitors remember reading works of mathematical fiction that neither they nor I can identify. It is time to crowdsource this problem and ask for your help! You would help a neighbor find a missing pet...can't you also help a fellow site visitor find some missing works of mathematical fiction? Please take a look and let us know if you have seen these missing stories anywhere!.

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)