a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

Home All New Browse Search About

The Tale of the Big Computer (aka The End of Man?) (1966)
Hannes Alfven (writing as Olof Johannesson)

Contributed by "William E. Emba"

"Alfven, the Swedish physicist and astrophysicist who was awarded the Nobel prize for his development of plasma physics and magnetohydrodynamics (but is perhaps better remembered for his anti-Big-Bang plasma cosmology), wrote a far-sighted satiric fable about the alleged wonders of computer technology. In addition, he mocked government bureaucracy and big business. Two pages are devoted to the division of labor computers bring to mathematics. Humans concentrate on formulating conjectures, and machines to proving or refuting them."

More information about this work can be found at
(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 The Tale of the Big Computer (aka The End of Man?)
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Ms Fnd in a Lbry by Hal Draper
  2. The Pacifist by Arthur C. Clarke
  3. Freemium by Louis Evans
  4. Flower Arrangement by Rosel George Brown
  5. The Snowball Effect by Katherine Maclean
  6. The Higher Mathematics by Martin C. Wodehouse
  7. Another Cock Tale by Chris Miller
  8. The Holmes-Ginsbook Device by Isaac Asimov
  9. The Mathenauts by Norman Kagan
  10. Quanto scommettiamo ("How much do you want to bet?") by Italo Calvino
Ratings for The Tale of the Big Computer (aka The End of Man?):
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.


GenreHumorous, Science Fiction,
MotifProving Theorems,
MediumShort Stories,

Home All New Browse Search About

Exciting News: The total number of works of mathematical fiction listed in this database recently reached a milestone. The 1,500th entry is The Man of Forty Crowns by Voltaire. Thanks to Vijay Fafat for writing the summary of that work (and so many others). I am also grateful to everyone who has contributed to this website. Heck, I'm grateful to everyone who visited the site. Thank you!

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)