a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

Home All New Browse Search About

Papos (2007)
Alex Rose
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

Contributed by Vijay Fafat

A short piece which mixes up historical facts/pseudo-facts from Greek history with rich imagination to discuss the discovery of irrational numbers (Pythagoras, Hippasus), the vanishing point in perspective geometry and the representation of 3-dimensional drawings on planar surface. This forms the spring-board for the mystical leap by one “architectural apprentice named Cretheus” who decides to invent the geometrical technique to avoid the “optical foreshortening” of perspective drawing, with startling effect. To quote, “he demonstrates that it is indeed possible to eradicate the heathen numbers embedded in our visual universe – so long as the mind is fit to create its own.”

This story appeared in Rose's anthology The Musical Illusionist and Other Tales.

Buy this work of mathematical fiction and read reviews at 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 Papos
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Dead Ancients Trilogy by Peter Hobbs
  2. City of Infinite Bridges by Alex Rose
  3. The Art Student's War by Brad Leithauser
  4. Turbulence by Giles Foden
  5. Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann
  6. The Fibonacci Confessions by Graham Wade
  7. Pythagoras's Darkest Hour by Colin Adams
  8. Maxwell's Equations by Alex Kasman
  9. The Ishango Bone by Paul Hastings Wilson
  10. Disciple of the Masses by Xujun Eberlein
Ratings for Papos:
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.


GenreHistorical Fiction,
TopicGeometry/Topology/Trigonometry, Algebra/Arithmetic/Number Theory,
MediumShort Stories,

Home All New Browse Search About

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)