MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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(Note: This is not the entire list of works of Mathematical Fiction. To see the entire list, click here.)
The Girl in the Painting (2020)
Tea Cooper
Jane Piper and Elizabeth Quinn are both interested in mathematics in this historical fiction novel which bounces back and forth between the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Quinn arrives... (more)
Last Changed: 2021-04-13 15:06:50
Perelman’s Refusal: A Novel (2021)
Philippe Zaouati
This unusual sounding book, which is to be released in May 2021, apparently presents a fictionalized account of the meeting between Grigori Perelman and the president of the International Mathematical... (more)
Last Changed: 2021-04-06 09:29:35
Moby Dick (1851)
Herman Melville
I honestly had no idea that there was anything mathematical about this classic novel until Allan Goldberg suggested I look at Sara Hart's article on the subject in the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics. Of... (more)
Last Changed: 2021-04-04 15:19:09
Magpie Lane (2020)
Lucy Atkins
This wonderful novel is difficult to describe, somewhere between literary fiction and a procedural mystery with the atmosphere of a supernatural thriller. The book is narrated by Dee, a nanny who is being... (more)
Last Changed: 2021-04-03 23:37:29
Los crĂ­menes de Alicia [The Alice Murders / The Oxford Brotherhood] (2019)
Guillermo Martinez
In this award-winning sequel to The Oxford Murders, logician Arthur Seldom and his graduate student "G" must again solve a mysterious crime. This time, the motive seems to involve the nude photos that... (more)
Last Changed: 2021-03-13 17:21:00
End of Days (2011)
Eric Walters
Although it appears to the world as if many of the leading scientists and mathematicians coincidentally died during the same year, what actually happened to them in this YA novel is that they were kidnapped... (more)
Last Changed: 2021-03-09 13:39:13
The Mathematicians (1953)
Arthur Feldman
A father tells his daughter of an invasion of the Earth by aliens who were "the greatest mathematicians in the galaxy": "Go on, papa. These beings over-ran all Earth. Go on from there." "You must... (more)
Last Changed: 2021-03-09 13:02:41
Golden Math [Suugaku Golden] (2019)
Kuramaru Tatsuhiko
Haruichi Onoda is a high school student who aspires to represent Japan in the IMO (International Mathematical Olympiad). He meets a girl (Mami Nanase) who shares his passion. Though seemingly airheaded,... (more)
Last Changed: 2021-02-28 19:16:17
Let's Play With Numbers [Suuji de Asobo] (2018)
Murako Kinuta
The story follows Tateki Yokobe, a freshman in the math department of Yoshida University. Though formerly a top student, Yokobe quickly realises his eidetic memory is of no use in understanding highly... (more)
Last Changed: 2021-02-28 19:09:43
Hajime's Algorithm (2017)
Mihara Kazuto
A bitter old mathematician discovers a young prodigy while visiting the little Japanese island where he grew up in this ten volume manga series that ran from 2017-2020. Uchida Yutaka is a mathematician... (more)
Last Changed: 2021-02-24 08:40:55
The Queen's Gambit (2020)
Scott Frank (writer&director) / Allan Scott (writer) / Walter Tevis (writer)
This popular TV mini-series about the personal trials of a chess prodigy is based on a novel. Interestingly, as I learned from Lauren Tubbs, a tiny bit of math was added for the screen adaptation: One... (more)
Last Changed: 2021-02-18 19:10:43
The Italian in Need of an Heir (2020)
Lynne Graham
Maya is a beautiful British "maths whizz" who, if she had her way, would be working in an academic job doing research. She also is usually unwilling to put up with men who boss her around. But, her... (more)
Last Changed: 2021-02-06 11:17:41
Deterministic Republic (2021)
Kris H. Green
The January 2021 issue of the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics includes the article Aligning Political Options and Aggregated Personal Opinions on the Issues by Kris Green which introduces an alternative... (more)
Last Changed: 2021-02-02 15:34:29
A House for Living (2020)
Nicolette Polek
A very short story (not quite two pages) about an insecure mathematician: The mathematician moves into a glass condominium with fourteen doors and has nightmares about the rooms behind them switching... (more)
Last Changed: 2021-01-30 20:01:56
The Manga Guide to Calculus (2009)
Hiroyuki Kojima
This book attempts to teach calculus concepts and convey their importance to everyday life through the fictional story of a rookie newspaper reporter. She does not initially expect math to be an important... (more)
Last Changed: 2021-01-26 22:25:41
Imaginary Numbers (2020)
Seanan McGuire
Sarah Zellaby, a running character in McGuire's InCryptid books, is featured prominently in this entry from the series. Sarah's species evolved from insects in another dimension but look essentially like... (more)
Last Changed: 2021-01-20 13:51:22
V2: A Novel of World War II (2020)
Robert Harris
The plot of this work of historical fiction is based on the following historical fact: A team of British WAAFs stationed in Belgium used mathematics and slide rules to try to determine the location of... (more)
Last Changed: 2021-01-05 19:57:53
The Fear Index (2011)
Robert Harris
Dr. Alex Hoffmann is an anti-social billionaire whose investment firm uses what he calls "Autonomous Machine Reasoning" (AMR) to make spectacular profits based on the Volatility Index (VIX), from which... (more)
Last Changed: 2021-01-02 13:27:54
4.50 from Paddington (1957)
Agatha Christie
A suggestion for your site: In the Agatha Christie novel 4.50 from Paddington an important role is played by Lucy Eyelesbarrow, a woman in her thirties who has a First in Maths from Oxford. She declined... (more)
Last Changed: 2020-12-16 08:37:41
Der kalte Himmel (2011)
Johannes Fabrick (director) / Andrea Stoll (writer)
In this German film, a woman raising her children on a farm in 1967 tries to get help for her mathematically talented but anti-social son. Obtaining the services of a forward-thinking Berlin psychiatrist,... (more)
Last Changed: 2020-12-11 15:08:39
The Body Outside the Kremlin (2020)
James L. May
This novel is a combination of historical fiction and a murder mystery, with literary ambitions. The narrator is a former math student who is sent to an island prison in the early days of the USSR. There... (more)
Last Changed: 2020-12-04 19:37:09
The New Warriors (Issue #4) (1990)
Fabian Nicieza (writer) / Mark Bagley (artist)
The New Warriors were a team of Marvel superheroes whose enemies included the psychic mathematical genius known as Mathemanic. Mathemanic first appeared in issue #4 (October 1990) but also appeared in... (more)
Last Changed: 2020-11-22 20:00:30
The Doors of Eden (2020)
Adrian Tchaikovsky
A handful of inhabitants of Earths with different evolutionary histories find themselves either working together to save their worlds as the multi-verse collapses. The characters include a cryptid-hunting... (more)
Last Changed: 2020-11-13 13:33:40
The Eighth Detective (2020)
Alex Pavesi
Many years ago, math professor Grant McCallister published a paper mathematically analyzing the structure of murder mystery fiction. He even self-published a collection of short stories illustrating several... (more)
Last Changed: 2020-10-25 23:22:56
The Romanian Gambit: A Statistical Spy Novel (2020)
Elliott Ostler
This espionage novel attempts to teach the reader about statistical analysis. Alex: The Romanian Gambit, A Statistical Spy Novel (2020) by Elliott Ostler, is now available on Amazon, and IMHO belongs... (more)
Last Changed: 2020-10-25 14:11:42
Proof Geometric Construction Can Solve All Love Affairs (2017)
Takahashi Manbou (lyricist) / Ane Manbou (illustrator)
This is not a short story or novel or movie, it is a music video by Japanese musician "Manbo-p" (featuring manga-style illustrations by his sister). As the title implies, it is a romance in which a boy... (more)
Last Changed: 2020-10-23 10:44:54
The Nesting Dolls (2020)
Alina Adams
A novel in three-parts focusing on three women in the same family over the course of a century. It is the middle story, concerning Natasha Crystal, that is most strongly connected to mathematics. Natasha... (more)
Last Changed: 2020-10-17 20:13:13
The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics (2019)
Olivia Waite
Lucy Muchelny is responsible for the mathematical aspects of her father's famous publications in astronomy, but as this is the 19th century she receives no credit for that contribution. Desperate for... (more)
Last Changed: 2020-10-17 19:47:17
All Scot and Bothered (2020)
Kerrigan Byrne
This is another romance novel set in the 19th century featuring a female mathematician. It features such lines as: She had very few innate talents, but the rhythm and structure of sexual relations... (more)
Last Changed: 2020-10-17 19:18:49
Critical Point (2020)
S.L. Huang
This is the third novel featuring Cas Russell, a private detective with superhuman mathematical abilities that allow her to fight with remarkable precision, and to quickly survey a crime scene. There... (more)
Last Changed: 2020-10-07 21:39:48

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)