a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Tangents (1986)
Greg Bear
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

There are far too many mathematical stories about finding a way to travel into "other dimensions". Still, this one is one of my favorites. Not only do we see a clever approach to this "old" storyline, we also get to see a happy ending to a famous sad story. (The main character is obviously based on Alan Turing, but in this incarnation he does not suffer the same fate which he unfortunately suffered in reality.)
First published in Omni magazine in 1986. Reprinted in Mathenauts.

Contributed by Aaron

It's weird how similar this is to Oracle: both stories about alternate universes in which an Alan Turing like character lives by guys named Greg.

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 Tangents
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Star, Bright by Mark Clifton
  2. Oracle by Greg Egan
  3. Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan
  4. Another New Math by Alex Kasman
  5. Emmy's Time by Anthony Bonato
  6. Mimsy Were the Borogoves by Lewis Padgett (aka Henry Kuttner and Catherine L. Moore)
  7. The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross
  8. Factoring Humanity by Robert J. Sawyer
  9. Breaking the Code by Hugh Whitemore (playwright)
  10. Neverness by David Zindell
Ratings for Tangents:
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 (2 votes)
Literary Quality:
4/5 (2 votes)

GenreScience Fiction,
MotifProdigies, Higher/Lower Dimensions, Real Mathematicians, Turing,
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)