MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Ground Zero Man (The Peace Machine) (1971)
Bob Shaw
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A self-described `unimportant mathematician' who works on guidance systems for a British weapons manufacturer discovers, just by playing around with the formulas, a way to cause the explosion of every nuclear bomb in the world. While his marriage dissolves and people around him die or are kidnapped, he races to use this knowledge for the benefit of mankind.

The fact that he is a mathematician is mentioned frequently, and words like `Schrödinger Equation', `Hermite Polynomial' and `Legendre Function' are tossed around. However, the math is not discussed in explicit detail but rather is just used as an explanation for the key plot device: his ability to `make neutrons dance'. Still, even if the math content is not very high, I think this was a rather engaging and thought provoking cold war thriller which might be of interest to some of you out there. Unfortunately, it does not appear to be in print at the moment, but many used copies are available (see links in next paragraph).

Originally published as ``Ground Zero Man'' in 1971, this was republished under the name ``The Peace Machine'' in 1985.

Buy this work of mathematical fiction and read reviews at amazon.com. Amazon.com logo
(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 Ground Zero Man (The Peace Machine)
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Janus Equation by Steven G. Spruill
  2. Nuremberg Joys by Charles Sheffield
  3. Four Brands of Impossible by Norman Kagan
  4. Drunkard's Walk by Frederik Pohl
  5. The Blind Geometer by Kim Stanley Robinson
  6. Improbable by Adam Fawer
  7. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
  8. Gödel Numbers by J.W. Swanson
  9. The Last Theorem by Arthur C. Clarke / Frederik Pohl
  10. The Fringe (Episode: The Equation) by J.R. Orci (Screenplay) / David H. Goodman (Screenplay)
Ratings for Ground Zero Man (The Peace Machine):
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)
..
Literary Quality:
4/5 (1 votes)
..

Categories:
GenreScience Fiction, Adventure/Espionage,
MotifWar,
Topic
MediumNovels,

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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)