MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Genghis Khan and 888 (2005)
Jason Earls
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As one might guess from the title of the literary journal in which it was published ("Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens #4"), this story is a bit strange. According to the author, it is absurdist and contains `concrete math'. In the story, 888 (the integer) is good friends with Gengis Khan and helps him find a planet to conquer. He does this using Gematria and by offering him integers with interesting properties (being prime or having the sum of their digits as a factor) that also look pretty when their digits are displayed as a graphic in a grid. (I'm guessing that these numbers may actually have the claimed properties, and that this is what Earls means by `concrete math', but I did not check.)

Anyway, read this story to find out why it is not possible to do any (correct) computations with the number 888.

More information about this work can be found at www.absurdistjournal.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.)

Works Similar to Genghis Khan and 888
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Borzag and the Numerical Apocalypse by Jason Earls
  2. Red Zen by Jason Earls
  3. Unreasonable Effectiveness by Alex Kasman
  4. Monster by Alex Kasman
  5. The Adventures of Topology Man by Alex Kasman
  6. life.exe by Jason Rogers
  7. A Deadly Medley of Smedley by Feargus Gwynplaine MacIntyre
  8. Book of Knut: a novel by Knut Knudson by Halvor Aakhus
  9. Izzy at the Lucky Three by Eliot Fintushel
  10. The Pacifist by Arthur C. Clarke
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Categories:
GenreHumorous, Science Fiction,
MotifReligion,
TopicAlgebra/Arithmetic/Number Theory,
MediumShort Stories,

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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)