a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
A mathematician nearly loses his life to appendicitis. While
sedated in the hospital, he describes the loony stuff that flits through his
head, and how it relates to the subjective and personal processes by which a
theoretical physicist arrives at useful math. (Interestingly, I recently
heard Brian Greene, the physicist/writer, describe basically the same
process in a talk on C-SPAN 2's Book TV.)
Althought the character in the story describes himself as a physicist and not a mathematician (we could debate for hours about which would be correct), he discusses mathematics quite explicitly. In particular, he explains why his branch of physics is based on the use of abstract mathematics and not scientific experiments.
BTW: It turns out that the story is supposed to be a non-traditional acceptance speech that the character gives after accepting a prestigious award for his work in theoretical physics.
Originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, October 1989.
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|(Note: This is just one work of
mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more
works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)|
May 2016: I am experimenting with a new feature which will print a picture of the cover and a link to the Amazon.com 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)