a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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1 to 999 (1981)
Isaac Asimov
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

When cryptologists try to break a simple code, one of the key clues is the frequency with which letters appear. In English, the letter "a" is one of the most frequently used letters. It is therefore curious to note (and this is the clue to the solution of this "mystery") that when one writes out the names of the positive integers ("zero, one, two, three, ...") one does not use an "a" until one thousand! (Watch out for the bad pun at the end!)
First published in Twilight Zone magazine (1981) and reprinted in Mathenauts.

More information about this work can be found at another page on this Website.
(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 1 to 999
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Child's Play by Isaac Asimov
  2. Ten by Isaac Asimov
  3. The Math Code by Alex Kasman
  4. Bianca by Nanni Moretti (director and screenplay)
  5. The Mathematicians of Grizzly Drive by Josef Skvorecky
  6. The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua
  7. The Visiting Professor by Robert Littell
  8. Cardano and the Case of the Cubic by Jeff Adams
  9. Naked Came the Post-modernist by Sarah Lawrence College Writing Class WRIT-3303-R / Melvin Jules Bukiet
  10. Without a Trace (Episode: Claus and Effect) by David Amann (writer) / Alicia Kirk (writer) / Bobby Roth (Director)
Ratings for 1 to 999:
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:
1.75/5 (4 votes)
Literary Quality:
2.75/5 (4 votes)

GenreMystery, Humorous,
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 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)