MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

Home All New Browse Search About

...
A Slight Miscalculation (1971)
Ben Bova
...

Contributed by Александр Никольский

This is a story of a mathematician who found a way to predict earthquakes. He finds out that there will be a major earthquake in California (where he lives). After checking this prediction using CalTech's computer he notices that his own results is slightly different from the computer's. While he tries to figure out the reason of this discrepancy, other people are leaving the California in a great hurry. Being obsessed with the problem, he does not notice the panic, ignoring the fact that he might be in danger himself. Finally the earthquake begins exactly at the predicted time and date. After it is over, mathematician notices that the computer's version was correct : the rest of USA lays beneath the sea...

There is no actual mathematics in this story. Anyway it is only a joke. I think there is no reason to look for mistakes in it.

Buy this work of mathematical fiction and read reviews at amazon.com. Amazon.com logo
(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 A Slight Miscalculation
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Topsy-turvy (Sans Dessus Dessous) by Jules Verne
  2. Blowups Happen by Robert A. Heinlein
  3. The Year of the Jackpot by Robert A. Heinlein
  4. Round the Moon by Jules Verne
  5. Numbers in the Dark (La notte dei numeri) by Italo Calvino
  6. The Story of Yung Chang by Ernest Bramah (Ernest Bramah Smith)
  7. Professor Morgan's Moon by Stanley Waterloo
  8. The Adventure of the Russian Grave by William Barton / Michael Capobianco
  9. Buried Alive at the End of the World by Blair Bourrassa
  10. The Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem
Ratings for A Slight Miscalculation:
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:
1/5 (1 votes)
..
Literary Quality:
4/5 (1 votes)
..

Categories:
GenreHumorous, Science Fiction,
MotifFuture Prediction through Math,
Topic
MediumShort Stories,

Home All New Browse Search About

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)