a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
|The Pi Man (1959) ||Alfred Bester |
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction
by the same author)
I found this work in an anthology of Alfred Bester short stories "The Dark Side of the Earth". It is an ironic story of a man that calls himself the Pi Man (irrational) that tries to set a pattern in Earth's population actions by performing irrational acts. The main character is a statistics major that has Extra Pattern Perception (Pi power) compared to Extra Sensory Perception (Psi power). There is some math like X^2 + X + 41 = prime number except when x=40 and discussion of pi. The author uses an irrational stream of consciousness style that is a little unnerving but palatable in short story form.
This is a great story. Under any circumstance less than the birth of a child would I ever use the word "amazing" to describe anything, but this is a terrific story. I wish I had written it.
I wish I knew where to get a copy of the story. (I know I could buy the collection, but there must be an easier way!)
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(Maintained by Alex Kasman,
College of Charleston)