MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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The Book of Irrational Numbers (1999)
Michael Marshall Smith
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Contributed by Craig Bauer

The protagonist of this short story views everything through the filter of numerology. His journal entries detail his considerations of digital roots, perfect numbers, irrational numbers, and even Wilson’s Theorem (first appearance in fiction?) among other mathematical topics. However, the reader soon learns that his greatest problem is psychological and it isn’t a problem for him alone…

There are some mathematical errors in the story, but I got a kick out the author even making the attempt!

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(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 The Book of Irrational Numbers
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Midnighters (Series) by Scott Westerfield
  2. Herr Doctor's Wondrous Smile by Vladimir Tasic
  3. The Gimatria of Pi by Lavie Tidhar
  4. Nightscape: The Dreams of Devils by David W. Edwards
  5. Pi by Darren Aronofsky (director)
  6. Cube by Vincenzo Natali (Director)
  7. The Object by Alex Kasman
  8. 21 Grams by Alejandro González Iñárritu
  9. Killing Time by Frank Tallis
  10. The Happening by M. Night Shyamalan (writer and director)
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Categories:
GenreHorror,
Motif
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)