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Naturally (Double Whammy) (1954)
Fredric Brown

Contributed by "William E. Emba"

Fredric Brown, a prolific and acclaimed writer of mystery and science fiction stories and novels, was an extraordinary master of the short-short. "Naturally" is a one-pager about Henry Blodgett, who knows he will fail his forthcoming geometry exam, flunk out of college, and ruin his career prospects. But Henry has studied black magic, and he's now desperate enough to risk summoning up a demon. It works! Henry starts to explain things, but gets interrupted:

"I've always been poor at geometry," he began... "You're telling me," said the demon gleefully.

Naturally the demon is gleeful, considering the geometric ineptitude of the pentagram that was meant to constrain him.

Originally published in Beyond Fantasy Fiction as and reprinted in Brown's anthology Honeymoon in Hell (aka And the Gods Laughed).

(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 Naturally (Double Whammy)
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Devil and Simon Flagg by Arthur Porges
  2. The Devil a Mathematician Would Be by A.J. Lohwater
  3. I of Newton by Joe Haldeman
  4. Nanny and the Professor (TV Series) by AJ Carothers (creator) / Thomas L. Miller (creator)
  5. Calculated Magic by Robert Weinberg
  6. The Better Mousetrap by Tom Holt
  7. The Mathematics of Magic by L. Sprague de Camp / Fletcher Pratt
  8. The Devil You Don't by Keith Laumer
  9. The Mathematician’s Nightmare: The Vision of Professor Squarepunt by Bertrand Russell
  10. Journey to the Center of Mathematics by Colin Adams
Ratings for Naturally (Double Whammy):
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:
2/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
3/5 (1 votes)

GenreHumorous, Fantasy,
MediumShort Stories,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)