MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Pieces of Pi (2006)
David Bartell
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A socially inept cubicle worker becomes obsessed with making sense of the controversial Biblical passage (I Kings 7:23-26) which many interpret as claiming that the value of π is exactly three (therefore serving as a counterexample to its claims of infallibility). His desire to demonstrate that God was right to say that π=3 becomes intertwined with his desire to show up his co-workers and impress the girl of his dreams, but it is the auto-mechanic fixing his car who inadvertently helps him (or pushes him over the edge) to realize the "truth" of a more divine circle. There are some entertaining (though, of course, nonsensical) mathematical musings along the way as he ponders how the new value of π would change geometry and trig functions.

Published in the anthology Gods and Monsters. More information is also available at the author's website.

(Although it is quite different in nature, I would like to point out that there is a numenistic discovery involving π also in Carl Sagan's novel Contact.)

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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 Pieces of Pi
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The God Equation by Michael A.R. Co
  2. Math Takes a Holiday by Paul Di Filippo
  3. A Proof of God by Colin Adams
  4. Contact by Carl Sagan
  5. Blasphemy by Douglas Preston
  6. Year of the Rat by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  7. The Gimatria of Pi by Lavie Tidhar
  8. Calculating God by Robert J. Sawyer
  9. The Ragged Astronauts by Bob Shaw
  10. Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann
Ratings for Pieces of Pi:
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:
4/5 (1 votes)
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Literary Quality:
3/5 (1 votes)
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Categories:
Genre
MotifAnti-social Mathematicians, Religion,
TopicGeometry/Topology/Trigonometry,
MediumShort Stories,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)