a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
|Culp takes a classic mystery by Poe and retells it with knotted ropes taking the place of people. For example:
|(quoted from A Frayed Knot)|
Tyler Trefoil was a Bowline knot....Salty-fibered seafaring knots such as Trefoil - as the reader surely knows - are rarely given to any meaningful degree of introspection. More often they will simply fray slowly, slowly, until one day the either come apart at the fibers, or slip, or are undone, having served their purpose unquestioningly. But, for a common sailors' knot, Trefoil possessed an uncommon disposition. A disposition which created in him a rare inquisitiveness, an analytical bent, and a certain contrarian (And often heretical) perspective as he considered at length the knot condition.
In addition to the puns and parody of philosophy ["the strict Kelvinists" (see here to get the joke), "Why am I a knot and not just a tangled string?"], there is a bit of math in the form of the occult philosophy called "The Topology".
In fact, the mathematical branch of topology does indeed study knots. However, do not imagine that this mystery will serve as a textbook in storybook form. Rather, this story is more of an entertainment for the cogniscenti who already know it than a primer for those who don't.
|Buy this work of mathematical fiction and read reviews at amazon.com. |
|(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.)|
May 2016: I am experimenting with a new feature which will print a picture of the cover and a link to the Amazon.com 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)