MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Spaceland (2002)
Rudy Rucker
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Yet another Flatland "sequel" in which silicon valley genius Joe Cube (an obvious reference to characters A. Square and A. Cube in Abbott's original) gets caught up in a war between four-dimensional beings and their attempt to sell extra-dimensional cell phones to humans.

For more information, I encourage you to read this review by Jody Trout (who is a math professor, a College of Charleston graduate, and an expert on mathematical fiction for longer than I've been interested in the subject myself). However, since a login is needed to read it, let me briefly summarize the review by saying that the book is a fun read, but goes overboard in its attempt to "wow" the reader with its descriptions of higher dimensional spaces and object.

Contributed by "William E. Emba"

A little noted detail about FLATLAND was that the timing of the Sphere's first visitation to the Square took place during the the Millennium rollover from 1999 to 2000. But Rucker noted this detail, and treated it as part of our own Y2K hullabaloo.

Contributed by Ian McCowan

The use of the fourth dimension in this novel is convincing enough and Rucker explains it well... over and over and over again. It is a difficult concept to apprehend but Rucker does not use it in a particularly complex way, and his constant attempts to clarify things get annoying and add very little to the experience.

The most appalling thing about the book is the characterization; all the characters are completely one-dimensional (ha ha) and transparent. Their motives are flimsy and they have no depth beyond what's printed on the page, and this makes the story almost painful to read at times. This might be all right if there were some kind of other mitigating factor, but the plot and ideas are, in my opinion, no better than those of any other half-decent sci-fi book.

More information on this work can also be found at the author's own Spaceland Website.

Contributed by Bekah

This book is based on the concept of dimensions similar to that of Flatland, but doesn't explicitly use math outside of that. I enjoyed this read and it did stretch my perception somewhat.

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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.)

Works Similar to Spaceland
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Message Found in a Copy of Flatland by Rudy Rucker
  2. Inside Out by Rudy Rucker
  3. Mathematicians in Love by Rudy Rucker
  4. And He Built a Crooked House by Robert A. Heinlein
  5. The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross
  6. 2+2=5 by Rudy Rucker / Terry Bisson
  7. Spacetime Donuts by Rudy Rucker
  8. A Deadly Medley of Smedley by Feargus Gwynplaine MacIntyre
  9. Unreasonable Effectiveness by Alex Kasman
  10. 1963 by Alan Moore
Ratings for Spaceland:
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 (2 votes)
..
Literary Quality:
2.5/5 (2 votes)
..

Categories:
GenreHumorous, Science Fiction,
MotifHigher/Lower Dimensions,
TopicGeometry/Topology/Trigonometry,
MediumNovels,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)