a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
|A thousand years in our future, civilization on Earth has been restarted from scratch following a combination of global warming, nuclear winter, and a mysterious periodic phenomenon known as "the Call". So much has been forgotten, many consider the stories of what machines and computers used to be able to do before those disasters to be nothing but a myth. However, the powerful librarian Zarvora has created a giant computer whose components are enslaved people which she uses for military, governmental, and scientific purposes (including catching tax fraud and predicting the next "Great Winter".)
Zarvora becomes so powerful that she rivals the "mayors" who are officially the rulers. The librarians serving below her, whose hold ranks like "Dragon White" and "Dragon Red" are the only ones who really know about her machine, the Calculor, and what it can do.
One of the primary characters, Lemorel, is a lower ranking librarian who wants to escape her reputation as an infamous duelist who killed many people in her home town. After applying to work for Zarvora, she finds herself quickly promoted because of her expertise in mathematics:
Other librarians who meet her refer to Lemorel's mathematical research into "the Call". Another great (female) mathematician is also mentioned. However, she is already dead by the time we hear about her and so she does not appear as a character, merely as a motivating memory for her (male) lover who is also a mathematician but not nearly as talented as she was.
Zarvora is ruthless in her goal of building and utilizing the Calculor. Prisoners who show any mathematical skill are assigned the title of "ADDER", "MULTIPLIER", or "FUNCTION", and spend all of their waking hours participating in calculations whose purpose they do not understand. Furthermore, to maintain the secrecy of the project, they will never be released. But, as the Calculor grew, it also became more difficult to maintain this secret:
|Buy this work of mathematical fiction and read reviews at amazon.com.|
|(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.)|
Exciting News: The 1,600th entry was recently added to this database of mathematical fiction! Also, for those of you interested in non-fictional math books
let me (shamelessly) plug the recent release of the second edition of my soliton theory textbook.
(Maintained by Alex Kasman,
College of Charleston)
(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)