MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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The Integral: A Horror Story (2009)
Colin Adams
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This story, which he claims is an attempt to emulate Stephen King, is different from many of Adams' others. This may explain why it was published for the first time in his 2009 collections Riot at the Calc Exam... rather than in his usual periodicals. In it, the will of a recently deceased math teacher invites two people (a woman who developed a serious fear of math in his class and the math nerd who was the teacher's pet) to spend the night in his house in order to receive some of his impressive estate. Things turn both supernatural and scary when they begin to be tortured and threatened by the now un-dead teacher who wishes to teach them one final lesson. The story is not too serious; Adams tries to make the same jokes he usually does in his more humorous writings, but somehow it comes across as a bit less funny in this context. My main complaint about it, however, is that the heroine's sudden mathematical skills seem to come out of nowhere. Of course, I understand the implication that her innate mathematical skills were merely suppressed by this bad teacher, but it still seemed unrealistic. (The dead teacher coming back to haunt them, on the other hand, is completely believable!)

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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 Integral: A Horror Story
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Cube by Vincenzo Natali (Director)
  2. Fermat's Room (La Habitacion de Fermat) by Luis Piedrahita / Rodrigo SopeƱa
  3. The Brink of Infinity by Stanley G. Weinbaum
  4. Rumpled Stiltskin by Colin Adams
  5. The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross
  6. Riot at the Calc Exam and Other Mathematically Bent Stories by Colin Adams
  7. A Proof of God by Colin Adams
  8. Into Thin Air by Colin Adams
  9. Mangum, P.I. by Colin Adams
  10. Robbins v. New York by Colin Adams
Ratings for The Integral: A Horror Story:
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:
5/5 (1 votes)
.
Literary Quality:
3/5 (1 votes)
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Categories:
GenreHumorous, Horror,
MotifEvil mathematicians, Anti-social Mathematicians, Cool/Heroic Mathematicians, Female Mathematicians, Math Education,
TopicAnalysis/Calculus/Differential, Real Mathematics,
MediumShort Stories,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)