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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.

More information about this work can be found at
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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. Description of a New World, Called The Blazing World by Margaret Cavendish
  4. The Fairytale of the Completely Symmetrical Butterfly by Dietmar Dath
  5. Summer Solstice by Charles Leonard Harness
  6. The Parrot's Theorem by Denis Guedj
  7. Napier's Bones by Derryl Murphy
  8. Jack and the Aktuals, or, Physical Applications of Transfinite Set Theory by Rudy Rucker
  9. Conceiving Ada by Lynn Hershman-Leeson
  10. Oracle by Greg Egan
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GenreHistorical Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy,
MotifReal Mathematicians,
MediumShort Stories, Available Free Online,

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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 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)