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The Square Root of Pythagoras (1999)
Paul Di Filippo / Rudy Rucker
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

Contributed by "William E. Emba"

Pythagoras has been granted the magical power of five numbers. Along the way he discusses his theorem, the five Platonic solids, and his general philosophy about numbers and the universe. But he entertains doubts, and discovers that sqrt(2) is irrational.

First appeared in Science Fiction Age v8 #1, November 1999 and was reprinted in collections of each author: Gnarl! by Rucker and Neutrino Drag by Di Filippo. As of October 2012, it is also available for free at Rudy Rucker's Website.

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Works Similar to The Square Root of Pythagoras
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Mersenne's Mistake by Jason Earls
  2. Pythagoras' Revenge: A Mathematical Mystery by Arturo Sangalli
  3. Arcadia by Iain Pears
  4. The Fairytale of the Completely Symmetrical Butterfly by Dietmar Dath
  5. Description of a New World, Called The Blazing World by Margaret Cavendish
  6. The Parrot's Theorem by Denis Guedj
  7. Jack and the Aktuals, or, Physical Applications of Transfinite Set Theory by Rudy Rucker
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  9. Summer Solstice by Charles Leonard Harness
  10. Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee
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GenreHistorical Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy,
MotifReal Mathematicians,
MediumShort Stories, Available Free Online,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)