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 Calculating Stars: A Lady Astronaut Novel (2018)
Mary Robinette Kowal
This novel, which is the first in a series of prequels by the author for her Hugo Award-winning story "The Lady Astronaut of Mars", is a sort of alternate history version of Hidden Figures. In the world... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-06-11 14:50:17
The Kiss Quotient (2018)
Helen Hoang
Stella is an woman with autistic tendencies who falls in love with the gigolo she hires to help her overcome her problems with intimacy. This romance novel, we are told, was inspired by the true life... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-06-08 13:42:36
The Cypher Bureau (2018)
Eilidh McGinness
This work of historical fiction tells the story of Marian Rejewski, a Polish mathematician who used algebraic methods to break the Nazi Enigma code. Another work of mathematical fiction to address the... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-06-04 16:21:48
Dichronauts (2017)
Greg Egan
The protagonist(s) in this story are symbiotic creatures who can only see in all directions when they work together because the laws of physics in their world have strange implications for the way that... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-06-04 15:40:53
My Heart Belongs to Bertie (2018)
Helen DeWitt
This short story, which appears in the anthology "Some Trick: Thirteen Stories by Helen DeWitt" features an academic turned author arguing with a literary agent who wants him to include less math in his... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-06-03 16:11:37
The Last Equation of Isaac Severy (2018)
Nova Jacobs
After mathematician Isaac Severy's suspicious death, his grand-daughter follows the clues he left her to find and protect his final discovery. In this murder mystery/family drama, Hazel Severy leaves... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-05-19 13:05:35
Margin Call (2011)
J.C. Chandor (Writer and Director)
The star-studded cast in this film portray the employees of an investment bank at the outset of the 2008 mortgage induced financial crisis. I did not initially include it in this database because I thought... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-05-16 22:02:55
The Big Short (2015)
Charles Randolph (writer) / Adam McKay (writer and director)
Although I did very much enjoy this creative fictional adaptation of Michael Lewis' non-fictional account of mortgage induced US housing price collapse, I did not initially include it in this database.... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-05-16 21:55:40
Along Came Polly (2004)
John Hamburg (Writer and Director)
[This film] stars Ben Stiller as risk-assessing Actuary Reuben Feffer and Jennifer Aniston as love interest Polly Prince. Because Feffer must know the risks inherent in many situations, he becomes inhibited... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-05-02 13:45:10
The Banana Girls (2017)
Karim F. Hirji
This rare example of African mathematical fiction was written by a Fellow of the Tanzania Academy of Sciences who previously won awards for his work on the statistical analysis of small sample discrete... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-04-08 20:15:26
Lost Empire (A Sam and Remi Fargo Adventure) (2011)
Clive Cussler / Grant Blackwood
When archaeological adventuring couple Remi and Sam Fargo come across an old ship's bell off the coast of Zanzibar, they discover that someone else doesn't want them to find it. Eventually, their discovery... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-02-27 14:28:03
The Sigma Structure Symphony (2012)
Gregory Benford
This story about humans in the distant future communicating with alien intelligences contains a lot of familiar ideas and some interesting new ones. Ruth Angle is an employee at the SETI library on... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-02-16 09:47:33
Mandelbrot the Magnificent (2017)
Liz Ziemska
This novella is what I would call a "feel good fantasy" about the mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot who coined the term fractal. It takes the form of a memoir written by an elderly Mandelbrot recalling... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-02-15 16:52:45
Annika Riz, Math Whiz (Franklin School Friends) (2014)
Claudia Mills
Recently I have been looking for math books for my young children when I came across Annika Riz, Math Whiz by Claudia Mills. I checked the archives of your site and it appears that this book is not on... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-02-02 10:55:51
The Amber Shadows (2016)
Lucy Ribchester
This is another thriller set at Bletchley Park during World War II. Many of the characters are described as mathematicians and Alan Turing is mentioned occasionally, but math is definitely not the center... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-01-05 10:52:27
Question 3 (2016)
Martin Sandahl (Director and Writer)
A short film about a boy with Asperger's Syndrome who competes in the International Mathematical Olympiad. However, neither the math problems (or should I say "maths", since this is a British production)... (more)
Last Changed: 2017-12-30 10:54:48
Void Star (2017)
Zachary Mason
This is a beautifully written and deep work of near-future science fiction about the development of an amazingly powerful sort of artificial intelligence. Two of the characters are mathematical both in name and perspective: Thales is a mathematically inclined Brazilian billionaire who encounters a mysterious AI which calls itself "the mathematician". (more)
Last Changed: 2017-12-16 15:27:23
Ungal En Enna [When a wanderer meets a pilgrim] (2017)
Ramprasath
When Ajay discovers that his wife is having an affair with his friend, he receives advice from a stranger who has a mathematical theory of romantic success. The mathematician character, whose name is... (more)
Last Changed: 2017-12-11 09:42:52
The Idiot (2017)
Elif Batuman
A farce about a Turkish-American Harvard freshman. As she is trying to figure out who she is and what academia is about, she meets an older math major with whom she develops both a romantic and intellectual... (more)
Last Changed: 2017-12-10 21:52:22
An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors: Book One in the Risen Kingdoms (2017)
Curtis Craddock
Princess Isabelle des Zephyrs, whose life and position are endangered by her birth defect and lack of magical abilities, secretly conducts math research that she publishes under a pseudonym. The mathematical... (more)
Last Changed: 2017-12-06 12:23:34
Colonel Lágrimas (2016)
Carlos Fonseca Suárez
This novel is loosely based on the life of Alexander Grothendieck and is "creatively" constructed, like the writings of the Oulipo group or Borges. The Costa Rican/Puerto Rican author focuses much of his attention on Latin America and war, but mathematics itself and eccentricities (Grothendieck was eccentric!) also are major themes. The English version was translated by Megan McDowell. (more)
Last Changed: 2017-10-19 15:19:41
Duke with Benefits (Studies in Scandal) (2017)
Manda Collins
A romance novel with a strong female lead, Lady Daphne Forsyth, who is a mathematician with some stereotypical anti-social traits. She has been set the task of solving an old mystery by breaking a cipher. However, since this is a romance novel, she is unsurprisingly distracted by a certain hunky guy, the "duke" of the title, whose family owns the library containing the cipher. (more)
Last Changed: 2017-10-19 15:05:46
Petersburg (1913)
Andrei Bely
In this modernist Russian novel, the revolutionary Nikolai Apollonovich Ableukhov is charged with the task of killing a Tsarist official ... his own father. In addition to mathematical terminology that... (more)
Last Changed: 2017-10-11 08:43:34
The Mathematics of Friedrich Gauss (2012)
D.W. Wilson
A math teacher compares his life with that of the great German mathematician C.F. Gauss as he ponders his own marital difficulties. This short story appears in the anthology "Once You Break a Knuckle" which was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas prize. (more)
Last Changed: 2017-08-16 15:56:53
Cap and Gown (2011)
Eric Flint
Richard Leamington has an impact on mathematics at Cambridge University in the 17th Century despite his multiple sclerosis. Although Leamington himself is a fictional character, many of the other characters... (more)
Last Changed: 2017-08-16 14:14:12
The Woman Who Shook the World-Tree (2012)
Michael Swanwick
A mathematical prodigy (she derived her own version of calculus to compute volumes when she was only seven years old, and by age 18 she had three PhD.s, including one in a field she had invented) teams... (more)
Last Changed: 2017-08-16 10:31:46
Mysterious Mysteries of the Aro Valley (2016)
Danyl McLauchlan
A semi-serious Lovecraftian novel set in New Zealand's Te Aro suburb featuring some mystical mathematicians (and questions of Platonism) in a central role. This sequel to the Danyl McLauchlan's "Unspeakable... (more)
Last Changed: 2017-08-09 13:53:53
One Hundred Twenty-One Days (2014)
Michèle Audin (Author) / Christiana Hills (Translator)
This tragic "novel" by mathematician and Oulipo member Michèle Audin follows the lives of three fictional mathematicians (Christian Mortsauf, Robert Gorenstein and Andre Silberberg) through the first... (more)
Last Changed: 2017-08-02 15:21:31
Gifted (2017)
Marc Webb (director) / Tom Flynn (writer)
Mary is a seven year old math prodigy being raised by her uncle (Chris Evans from Captain America) after her mother's suicide. The uncle believes he is following his sister's wishes by trying to raise... (more)
Last Changed: 2017-08-02 15:11:11
Infinite Sum (2016)
Sheila Deeth
Although trained as a mathematician and happily married, Sylvia has psychological issues that are interfering with her life. The main focus of this novel is on her interactions with her therapist in which... (more)
Last Changed: 2017-07-31 10:28:28

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)