a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
|This collage of absurd and entertaining scenes at a NYC post office (and the music and choreography to which they are performed) were all inspired by the mathematics of Penrose Tilings. In particular, as the playbill explains, it was developed by Maddow (a co-founder of the Talking Band company which produced it) while attending a workshop on Creative Writing and Mathematics at the Banff International Research Station for the Mathematical Sciences (BIRS).
Not only is the structure of the play mathematical (scenes almost, but not quite, repeat themselves just as regions of a non-periodic tiling do), but the mathematics is explicitly discussed in the play as well. One character reads about non-periodic tilings from the Mathematical Intelligencer (a magazine edited by the BIRS workshop's organizers) while an animation showing the formation of such a "quasicrystal" is projected onto the set. Visitors to the post office find pine cones, sea shells and a crystal in their mail boxes (a reference to the common role of the golden mean in the structure of plants, shells and quasi-crystals -- though the crystal in the play appears to be of the periodic variety ; ). And one character is an amateur mathematician who has discovered these tilings and their connection to Fibonacci numbers on his own, based on the real-life Robert Ammann and his "Ammann Bars".
I have seen a DVD of the original New York production while attending another one of those BIRS writing workshops and would strongly encourage anyone who has a chance to see this play or the DVD. The timing, music and staging were near perfect and make for a work of art about mathematics and life that goes beyond being just "mathematical fiction".
A portion of the script was published in The Shape of Content.
|More information about this work can be found at www.talkingband.org.|
|(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)