Alex Ligon, though unbelievably rich, chooses to work voluntarily at a government
agency where his predictive models for the future of the human race (based,
he claims, on the principles of statistical mechanics) hint at an impending
disaster. Not only is this aspect of the story mathematical, but it is
sprinkled with mathematical "name dropping" from artificial satelites
placed in Lagrange points to a ship named *Witch of Agnesi* (without
any further elaboration).
This science fiction novel is definitely mathematical fiction, and a pretty
enjoyable read. Occasionally, it is a bit too "crude" for my tastes, but
I'm sure that's just me. It contains many standards of science fiction,
including the first discovery of a "message from space" (which, as usual, is somewhat
mathematical), the disharmony among the colonists at different parts of our
solar system, quantum computers, and the aftermath of a terrible war...but
it is able to remain original and clever enough to keep me reading.
The author has a doctorate in mathematics with three
research publications from around 1970 in mathematical physics. |