a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Dark as Day (2002)
Charles Sheffield
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

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.

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Works Similar to Dark as Day
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Ganymede Club by Charles Sheffield
  2. The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross
  3. River of Gods by Ian McDonald
  4. Improbable by Adam Fawer
  5. Diaspora by Greg Egan
  6. The God Patent by Ransom Stephens
  7. Foundation by Isaac Asimov
  8. Eye of the Beholder by Alex Kasman
  9. Factoring Humanity by Robert J. Sawyer
  10. White Mars : or, the mind set free : a 21st Century Utopia by Brian Wilson Aldiss / Roger Penrose
Ratings for Dark as Day:
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 (2 votes)
Literary Quality:
3/5 (2 votes)

GenreScience Fiction,
MotifCool/Heroic Mathematicians, Aliens, Female Mathematicians, Future Prediction through Math,
TopicComputers/Cryptography, Algebra/Arithmetic/Number Theory, Mathematical Physics, Probability/Statistics,

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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)