a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Bill, the Galactic Hero (1965)
Harry Harrison

Contributed by "William E. Emba"

The famed parody of Asimov and Heinlein. Amongst other issues, the book asks what happens to all the garbage from a one city planet (a la Trantor from FOUNDATION)? It seems to be a losing battle down below, but the planet's topologists have come up with an empty soda can that spontaneously deforms into a long playing record, which the user naturally wants to keep.

I'm not sure, but I have the impression that Harrison once read the joke about a topologist being a mathematician who cannot the difference between a coffee cup and a doughnut, but completely missed the topological point of the joke.

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Works Similar to Bill, the Galactic Hero
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem
  2. The Mathenauts by Norman Kagan
  3. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  4. Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams
  5. Quanto scommettiamo ("How much do you want to bet?") by Italo Calvino
  6. Ms Fnd in a Lbry by Hal Draper
  7. The Heart on the Other Side by George Gamow
  8. Mathematicians in Love by Rudy Rucker
  9. To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
  10. Spaceland by Rudy Rucker
Ratings for Bill, the Galactic Hero:
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:
1.66/5 (3 votes)
Literary Quality:
4.33/5 (3 votes)

GenreHumorous, Science Fiction,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)