MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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30 Most Recently Added/Modified Entries

(Note: This is not the entire list of works of Mathematical Fiction. To see the entire list, click here.)
The Time Ships (1995)
Stephen Baxter
This sequel to H.G. Wells' classic "The Time Machine" updates the story with some quantum mechanics and general relativity that were not available to Wells in 1895. Our narrator returns to the distant... (more)
Last Changed: 2023-03-06 09:35:03
The Manga Guide to Regression Analysis (2005)
Shin Takahashi / Iroha Inoue
Like other books in the "Learn with Manga" series, this one uses romance and manga styling to teach an advanced mathematical subject. Moreover, as in The Manga Guide to Statistics, the main character... (more)
Last Changed: 2023-03-05 20:06:43
The Manga Guide to Linear Algebra (2008)
Shin Takahashi / Iroha Inoue
Reiji wants to learn karate and he is in love with a girl named Misa. So, it works out perfectly when it turns out that her big brother who is the captain of the karate club agrees to let Reiji into the... (more)
Last Changed: 2023-03-05 19:54:24
The Manga Guide to Statistics (2004)
Shin Takahashi
Rui wants to learn statistics not because she is interested in the subject but because she has a crush on Mr. Igarashi, whom she hopes her father will hire as her tutor. When instead her father hires... (more)
Last Changed: 2023-03-05 19:42:12
The Deluge (2023)
Stephen Markley
One character in this tome-sized political eco-thriller is Ashir al-Hasan. Ash, as he is called by friends, is a a government data analyst. Although he also appears to be "on the spectrum", he is not... (more)
Last Changed: 2023-02-14 09:16:53
Calculating the Speed of Heartbreak (2023)
Wendy Nikel
Normally, I don't like works of mathematical fiction that use mathematical terminology and notation to discuss romantic relationships. They often involve groan-inducing formulae like "Pat + Sandy = Love". However,... (more)
Last Changed: 2023-02-08 14:17:54
Astor Place Barber (2023)
Audrey Nasar
A short piece that employs a humorous McGuffin to introduce the Barber's Paradox. Both frequent site contributor Dr. Allan Goldberg and the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics think this is an example... (more)
Last Changed: 2023-02-05 12:57:19
The Babelogic of Mathematics (2023)
Vijay Fafat
This is a creation myth for mathematics itself, incorporating the writing styles of both the Book of Genesis and Nasadiya Sukta. The author, it should be noted, is a frequent contributor to this website... (more)
Last Changed: 2023-02-05 12:46:30
Dr. No: A Novel (2022)
Percival Everett
Wala Kitu is a professor of mathematics at Brown University who specializes in nothing. (It is not that he doesn't have a specialty. He is an expert in the very concept of nothingness.) His best friends... (more)
Last Changed: 2023-01-28 14:27:56
A Calculated Man (2022)
Paul Tobin (writer) / Alberto Alburquerque (artist)
An accountant for the mob, now in witness protection, must defend himself from his former employers, but with the power of math on his side he is quite capable of killing those who have been sent to eliminate... (more)
Last Changed: 2023-01-11 15:07:22
Souls in the Great Machine (1999)
Sean McMullen
A thousand years in our future, civilization on Earth has been restarted from scratch following a combination of global warming, nuclear winter, and a mysterious periodic phenomenon known as "the Call".... (more)
Last Changed: 2023-01-03 09:06:21
The Mentalist (Episode: 18-5-4) (2010)
Bruno Heller (writer) / Leonard Dick (writer) / Charles Beeson (director)
In this episode of the series about agents from the California Bureau of Investigation, an unemployed mathematician is murdered by someone wearing a clown suit. The victim, Noah Valiquette, was a... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-12-20 14:33:57
Mine the Primes (2005)
Julian Todd
In this SF short story, mathematicians work to discover new prime numbers which are used to power space ships. The concept of "mining" numbers probably seemed very "science fictiony" and perhaps even... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-12-11 21:50:05
i (2005)
Paul Evanby
A computer programmer meets a composer who is trying to incorporate complex numbers into musical theory: I nodded slowly, and pointed at the other screen. “What about that?” He pursed his lips.... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-12-11 21:32:16
Location, velocity, end point (2022)
Matt Tighe
A time-traveler tries to reach the right point in spacetime to save his young son from a horrible disease. However, the computations he needs to achieve this goal are frustrated by some analogue of Heisenberg's... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-12-09 16:32:21
The Singularities (2022)
John Banville
This ambitious work may be the capstone to the body of work by the critically acclaimed Irish novelist, John Banville. The closing words suggest that it is a finale to his career. And a clever plot conceit... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-11-18 22:06:46
Strike Your Heart (2017)
Amélie Nothomb
This French novel is primarily about jealousy and how it poisons relationships between women. However, one recurring minor character is a Fields medalist working in topology. Like many mathematicians... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-11-18 16:41:57
The Long Slow Orbits (1967)
H.H. Hollis
Tagline: Nice prison! It was a Klein bottle in orbit - easy to escape from, if you didn't mind turning inside out! A sensitively written, poignant vignette of mankind and society spread out... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-11-16 20:01:43
The Universe Broke Down (1941)
Robert Arthur
Jeremiah Jupiter was an extremely rich, eccentric genius who built an antenna which could take some strange meteorite material called “magna” and amplify cosmic rays to disintegrate the magna, giving... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-11-09 12:14:48
Pure Math (1992)
John Timson
A mildly funny and fairly predictable time travel story involving a stand-alone time loop created by information sent back in time. Jacob Appel is a “Nobel Laureate and the man acknowledged by nearly... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-11-08 08:23:39
Mathe-Matti (2022)
Anuradha Mahasinghe
A collection of mathematical fiction short stories published in the country of Sri Lanka by Sayura Books. Unfortunately, I do not read Sinhalese and so have not been able to enjoy it myself, but the author... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-10-25 16:54:34
A Map for the Missing (2022)
Belinda Huijuan Tang
Tang Yitian, a Chinese-American math professor who grew up in China shortly after the revolution, undertakes a journey to find his estranged father. Anti-intellectualism always made it hard for Yitian... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-10-18 14:13:25
Eversion (2022)
Alastair Reynolds
One supporting character in this science fiction novel is a young mathematician whose solution to a problem involving sphere eversion is essential to the success of the mission. But, as it is not clear... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-10-17 10:00:52
Arithmetic Town / Arithmetic (1996)
Todd McEwen
This novel puts you into the stream of consciousness of Joe Lake, a boy growing up in California in the 1950s. For him, arithmetic represents all that is wrong with his world. It is difficult, ugly,... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-10-04 09:43:17
Special Meal (2021)
Josh Malerman
This story about a young girl enjoying her favorite meal with her family takes place in a dystopian society where knowledge of math is illegal. In fact, her brother recently reported a friend of his to... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-09-25 22:05:16
The Second Moon (1939)
Russell R. Winterbotham
This is one wreckage of a story; bad pulp fiction written way back when. It does have one or two decent points for an alert reader, like the observation that the presence of complex numbers in physical... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-09-15 13:53:30
Probabilitea (2019)
John Chu
When it said at the beginning of this story that "Katie’s father...is a physical manifestation of Order and Chaos," I presumed at first it meant that metaphorically. In fact, it means that Katie's... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-09-12 16:43:32
The Rabbit Factor [Jäniskerroin] (2020)
Antti Tuomainen
After his anti-social tendencies get him fired from his job as an actuary, the mathematically obsessed Henri inherits his deceased brother's adventure park, along with his tremendous debt to a dangerous... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-09-08 21:38:18
Lost in the Math Museum (2022)
Colin Adams
Teenager Kallie, who doesn't particularly care for math, gets trapped in a math museum with her father and his friend Maria. They endure horrific dangers and meet the ghosts of famous mathematicians (as... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-09-08 13:20:05
Parade's End (1924)
Ford Madox Ford
Although the British aristocracy, women's liberation, marital infidelity, and World War I are more important to this acclaimed novel, math arises a few times since the primary protagonist, Tietjens, is... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-08-28 11:23:44

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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)