a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
|For his contribution to the first "Thieves' World" collection, Poul Anderson contributed a fantasy story about an illustrated scroll which forms a gateway between dimensions. |
As the story progresses, there are a few clues indicating that mathematics will play a role. Jamie CAppen, a "rationalist" who is skeptical of magic, claims he can demonstrate some tricks as well:
When the gateway between universes is being explained to Cappen, references are made to "the theory of dimensions, the subtler aspects of geometry."
The resolution should be obvious to most readers at this point, but if it is not, I urge you to stop reading now before I get to the "spoiler" below if you have any interest in reading Anderson's cute story.
Of course, the solution to the problem posed by this gateway between universes (and the punchline to the joke that this story represents) occurs when Cappen takes the scroll and forms it into a Möbius band so that it no longer has two sides (one in each universe), but rather becomes a single-sided surface.
|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.)|
(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)