a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Moriarty by Modem (1995)
Jack Nimersheim

Contributed by "William E. Emba"

A cyberversion of Sherlock Holmes is created to track down an accidently released cyberversion of Moriarty. The big clue involves both the binomial theorem and binomial variables.

Published in Mike Resnick and M H Greenberg (eds) SHERLOCK HOLMES IN ORBIT

I'm afraid that this story, though cute, really strained my abilities to suspend disbelief. Not only are we expected to believe that Charles Babbage actually created a computer which became a state secret, but this computer was supposed to have been powerful enough to run an artificially intelligent program which was a sentient "Sherlock Holmes". The mention (but apparently, not much of an understanding) of the binomial theorem and its counterpart in probability theory are not enough to save this story in my mind.

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Works Similar to Moriarty by Modem
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Adventure of the Russian Grave by William Barton / Michael Capobianco
  2. The Ultimate Crime by Isaac Asimov
  3. The Future Engine by Byron Tetrick
  4. Reading by Numbers by Aidan Doyle
  5. The Square Cube Law by Fletcher Pratt
  6. The Turing Option by Harry Harrison / Marvin Minksy
  7. Dalrymple’s Equation by Paul Fairman
  8. Mirror Image by Isaac Asimov
  9. Death Qualified: A Mystery of Chaos by Kate Willhelm
  10. The Image in the Mirror by Dorothy Leigh Sayers
Ratings for Moriarty by Modem:
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:
2.5/5 (2 votes)
Literary Quality:
3.5/5 (2 votes)

GenreMystery, Science Fiction,
MotifEvil mathematicians, Sherlock Holmes,
TopicComputers/Cryptography, Algebra/Arithmetic/Number Theory, Probability/Statistics,
MediumShort Stories,

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Exciting News: The total number of works of mathematical fiction listed in this database recently reached a milestone. The 1,500th entry is The Man of Forty Crowns by Voltaire. Thanks to Vijay Fafat for writing the summary of that work (and so many others). I am also grateful to everyone who has contributed to this website. Heck, I'm grateful to everyone who visited the site. Thank you!

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)