a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Blowups Happen (1940)
Robert A. Heinlein
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

Contributed by "William E. Emba"

A mathematician discovers that his formulas predict that an important new power station poses an extremely grave risk to humanity, and he must convince others of the danger.


At least temporarily available in HTML format at

Contributed by Anonymous

More physical or physico-mathematical than actually mathematical fiction, and moreover it throws in a bit of mumbo-jumbo à la Korzybski (a unified approach to physics, psychology, economics... you name it), but readable nevertheless.

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Works Similar to Blowups Happen
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Year of the Jackpot by Robert A. Heinlein
  2. A Slight Miscalculation by Ben Bova
  3. Buried Alive at the End of the World by Blair Bourrassa
  4. Misfit by Robert A. Heinlein
  5. And He Built a Crooked House by Robert A. Heinlein
  6. Starman Jones by Robert A. Heinlein
  7. Psychohistorical Crisis by Donald Kingsbury
  8. The Rolling Stones by Robert A. Heinlein
  9. Dark Integers by Greg Egan
  10. What Dead Men Tell by Theodore Sturgeon
Ratings for Blowups Happen:
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, Future Prediction through Math,
TopicMathematical Physics,
MediumShort Stories, Available Free Online,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)