MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Black Mask of Al-Jabr (1967)
Vladimir Levshin
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Contributed by Rob Milson

The 3 friends return to Karlikania. Their friend, the baby zero, is accosted by a mysterious x-shaped stranger, who challenges our heroes to recover his identity. Many adventures unfold, and the visitors to Karlikania master Pascal's triangle, algebraic identities, the arithemetic and geometric means, and many other challenges. Finally the mysterious stranger is released from his enchantment; an equation is solved and the mask is removed. This is mathematical storytelling at its best!

Unfortunately, this Russian classic does not appear to have been translated into English.

Contributed by Laura

It was one of my favorite childhood books. I wish I could buy it here, in the U.S.

More information about this work can be found at www.bibliogid.ru.
(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 Black Mask of Al-Jabr
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Three Days in Karlikania by Vladimir Levshin
  2. Little Zero the Seafarer [Captain One's frigate] by Vladimir Levshin
  3. The Thesis of the Absent-Minded Master by Vladimir Levshin
  4. The Travel Notes of the Absent-Minded Master by Vladimir Levshin
  5. The New Tales of the Absent-Minded Master by Vladimir Levshin
  6. The Mouse and his Child by Russell Hoban
  7. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster / Jules Feiffer (Illustrator)
  8. The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics by Norton Juster
  9. Nena's Math Force by Susan Jarema
  10. Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier
Ratings for Black Mask of Al-Jabr:
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:
3/5 (4 votes)
..
Literary Quality:
3.25/5 (4 votes)
..

Categories:
GenreFantasy, Children's Literature,
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Your Help Needed: Some site visitors remember reading works of mathematical fiction that neither they nor I can identify. It is time to crowdsource this problem and ask for your help! You would help a neighbor find a missing pet...can't you also help a fellow site visitor find some missing works of mathematical fiction? Please take a look and let us know if you have seen these missing stories anywhere!.

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)