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 non-negative 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. One Under the Eight by Catherine Aird
  4. The Math Code by Alex Kasman
  5. Dalrymple’s Equation by Paul Fairman
  6. The Use of Geometry in the Modern Novel by Norman Clarke
  7. Bianca by Nanni Moretti (director and screenplay)
  8. The Mathematicians of Grizzly Drive by Josef Skvorecky
  9. The Visiting Professor by Robert Littell
  10. The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua
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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Exciting News: The total number of works of mathematical fiction listed in this database recently reached a milestone. The 1,500th entry is The Man of Forty Crowns by Voltaire. Thanks to Vijay Fafat for writing the summary of that work (and so many others). I am also grateful to everyone who has contributed to this website. Heck, I'm grateful to everyone who visited the site. Thank you!

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)