a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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The Lure (2007)
Bill Napier
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

Irish mathematician Tom Petrie is called in as an expert to analyze a mysterious stream of particles that appears to be a message from aliens. The math never gets very deep. Petrie is supposed to be an expert on chaos theory, but here that means little more than "making sense out of a mess". (Really, chaos theory is the study of dynamical systems that are sensitive to initial conditions and transitive.) However, a brief passage at the beginning where Petrie reads through his e-mail (printing out an article on a symplectic approach to chaos and deleting a message claiming to have a proof of Goldbach's conjecture) and a page near the end about how he developed an interest in mathematics in the first place are possibly interesting to fans of mathematical fiction.

Forgetting about the math for a moment, The Lure is an SF adventure that combines viruses, aliens, the Manhattan Project and the apparent "fine tuning" of the laws of physics to support life together with a bunch of stereotypes (of mathematicians, Russians, Scandanavian women, evil government conspiracies, etc.) into an uneven but sufficiently entertaining tale.

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Works Similar to The Lure
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Improbable by Adam Fawer
  2. Altar of Eden by James Rollins
  3. The Last Theorem by Arthur C. Clarke / Frederik Pohl
  4. Gödel Numbers by J.W. Swanson
  5. The Fringe (Episode: The Equation) by J.R. Orci (Screenplay) / David H. Goodman (Screenplay)
  6. Stamping Butterflies by Jon Courtenay Grimwood
  7. The Lure by Bill Napier
  8. The Kingdom of Ohio by Matthew Flaming
  9. Gospel Truths by J.G. Sandom
  10. Planck Zero by Stephen Baxter
Ratings for The Lure:
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:
2/5 (1 votes)

GenreScience Fiction, Adventure/Espionage,
MotifAnti-social Mathematicians, Aliens,

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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)