MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Herr Doctor's Wondrous Smile (1998)
Vladimir Tasic
Highly Rated!

In this short story, a logician who really does not take the superstitions of numerology seriously is invited to a "fringe" conference where he delivers a talk on the mystical implications of Gregory Chaitin's uncomputable number Omega. He intends the talk to be an obvious joke, but it is taken seriously nonetheless, drawing him into a world of mystics and eternal spirits. This story was published in the short collection "Herbarium of Souls".

Tasic, a Serbian mathematician now living in Canada, not only publishes his research in algebra in highly respectable math journals, his fiction is highly acclaimed by literary critics -- a rare combination. Some of his other writings are at least somewhat mathematical as well. For instance, "Secrets of an Argonaut", in the same collection involves some discussions of the equations of a Dyson field. However, his writing is not appreciated so much for its mathematical content as for its hauntingly sombre attitude and clever blend of the worlds of the arts, mysticism and science.

Contributed by Henry Bruse

Tasic is under-appreciated. His book: Mathematics and the Roots of Postmodern Thought should be considered essential to any mathematical library.

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Works Similar to Herr Doctor's Wondrous Smile
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Zilkowski's Theorem by Karl Iagnemma
  2. The Tolman Trick by Manil Suri
  3. The Penultimate Conjecture by Leonard Michaels
  4. The Book of Irrational Numbers by Michael Marshall Smith
  5. The Gimatria of Pi by Lavie Tidhar
  6. The Center of the Universe by Alex Kasman
  7. Orpheus Lost: A Novel by Janette Turner Hospital
  8. 21 Grams by Alejandro González Iñárritu
  9. Towel Season by Ron Carlson
  10. Continuums by Robert Carr
Ratings for Herr Doctor's Wondrous Smile:
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:
4.33/5 (3 votes)
..
Literary Quality:
4.67/5 (3 votes)
..

Categories:
Genre
MotifAcademia,
TopicLogic/Set Theory,
MediumShort Stories,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)