MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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In the River (2006)
Justin Stanchfield
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A female mathematics professor undergoes a surgical procedure to enable her to live and communicate with aquatic aliens. Her goal is to learn to understand their mathematics well enough to reproduce their advanced technology (described in terms of "zero point energy"). There is not much mathematics (she says something about them only having two numbers -- zero and one; that the sum of one and one is not two but a "bigger one"; and that their mathematics is based on some sort of harmonic analysis) but it is a nice enough little story.

Appeared first in Interzone #205, July/August 2006. And, for those who do not have access to that British SF magazine, it has been selected to appear in Dozois' The Year's Best Science Fiction Twenty-Fourth Annual Collection.

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Works Similar to In the River
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Incandescence by Greg Egan
  2. Report from the Ambassador to Cida-2 by Clifton Cunningham
  3. Dragon's Egg by Robert L. Forward
  4. The Bees of Knowledge by Barrington J. Bayley
  5. The Star Dummy by Anthony Boucher
  6. Phase IV by Mayo Simon (writer) / Saul Bass (director)
  7. Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang
  8. Signal to Noise by Eric S. Nylund
  9. Q.E.D. by Bruce Stanley Burdick
  10. Conversations on Mathematics with a Visitor from Outer Space by David Ruelle
Ratings for In the River:
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 (1 votes)
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Literary Quality:
3/5 (1 votes)
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Categories:
GenreScience Fiction,
MotifAliens, Female Mathematicians, Romance,
Topic
MediumShort Stories,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)