a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Fractal Mode (1992)
Piers Anthony
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

Here, Anthony's usual blend of fantasy and science fiction takes us to an alternate universe where the geometry of worlds themselves take on the form of the Mandelbrot set. Unfortunately, he spends a lot of time talking about fractals, the Mandelbrot Set and Julia Sets though he seems either to not understand these subjects very well or simply to be unable to explain them clearly. (I think it is probably that he doesn't understand them very well. The many popular math books on these topics seem to have spread a lot of confusion and disinformation.)

Contributed by Jennifer S.

Anthony seems to be using this novel (and the rest of this series) as a pulpit for his own views on the origin of life. His character development is also somewhat weak, although his plot is definitely creative. Read only if you don't mind being preached to, and want some light bathroom reading.

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Works Similar to Fractal Mode
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Hamisch in Avalon by Eliot Fintushel
  2. Numbercruncher by Si Spurrier (writer) / PJ Holden (artist)
  3. The Hollow Man by Dan Simmons
  4. Paradox by John Meaney
  5. The Tower of Babylon by Ted Chiang
  6. The Ghost from the Grand Banks by Arthur C. Clarke
  7. Perelman's Song by Tina Chang
  8. The God Equation by Michael A.R. Co
  9. Fatous Staub by Christian Mähr
  10. Description of a New World, Called The Blazing World by Margaret Cavendish
Ratings for Fractal Mode:
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 (5 votes)
Literary Quality:
3.2/5 (5 votes)

GenreScience Fiction, Fantasy,

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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 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)