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.)
Zero Sum Game (2018)
S.L. Huang
A novel by a former M.I.T. math major about a hero whose superpower is math ("The vector calculus blazing through her head lets her smash through armed men twice her size and dodge every bullet in a gunfight,... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-10-12 09:28:29
Gödel Incomplete (2013)
Martha Goddard (Writer and Director)
A 21st century physicist repeatedly travels back in time for short visits to the 20th century as a result of her experiments at the Large Hadron Collider. For completely unexplained reasons, she always... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-10-11 20:52:10
A Desirable Middle (2016)
Susan Sechrist
In this story which appeared in the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, a recently divorced woman contemplates her own tastes in things and seems especially concerned with the aspect ratios of the objects... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-09-09 14:24:46
Methuselah's Children (1958)
Robert A. Heinlein
The supporting character of "Slipstick" Libby in this classic science fiction novel is a mathematician, or at least mathematically inclined. This has little to do with the novel's main plot, which concerns... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-09-05 16:46:52
Über die Schrift hinaus (2018)
Ulla Berkéwicz
The first part of this book is a kind of essay on a "fictional history of ideas": That an initial, prehistoric life of mind, or spirituality, which had been esoteric and outside the scope of linguistic expression,... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-09-02 11:38:07
Gödel geht [Gödel's Exit] (1991)
Andreas Findig
Kurt Gödel's reflection steps out of the mirror and joins him at his table in a cafe. (That may seem weird, but the author assures us that such fantastical things are always happening in Vienna.) Since... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-08-31 09:51:24
Prüfung läuft: Eine Erzählung in n Testabschnitten (2018)
Dietmar Dath
This short story which appeared in the January 2018 issue of the German magazine Konkret is more about politics/economics than math, but it features frequent high level discussions of mathematical logic... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-08-09 14:17:51
Practical Joke (2016)
Adam Ehrlich Sachs
A very short story in which a knot theorist playing a practical joke on his overly serious son lies (in both senses of the word) on his deathbed and tells him "The solution to the Kaiserling Conjecture... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-08-09 12:22:39
Uniform Convergence: A One-Woman Play (2016)
Corrine Yap
This play about race, gender and math was written and first performed by Corrine Yap when she was a math/theater double major at Sarah Lawrence College. It has evolved and changed and continued to be... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-08-03 23:24:37
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: 2018-08-02 11:26:47
The Rubbish Researchers Puzzle (2018)
Michael W. Lucht
Thanks to Dr. Allan Goldberg for bringing to my attention this humorous short story about a math professor hiding in a New Zealand pub from an angry looking mob of blue-eyed Pacific Islanders. It concerns... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-07-30 12:53:40
The Alice Network (2017)
Kate Quinn
Set in the aftermath of World War II, The Alice Network follows a Bennington College sophomore Charlotte “Charlie” St. Clair on an impromptu search for her cherished cousin Rose. While fleeing the... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-07-19 10:51:04
The Body Counter (2018)
Anne Frasier
Detective Jude Fontaine must stop a pathological killer whose murder sprees are dictated by the Fibonacci sequence. Fontaine is known for her ability to read people. (She often can tell when people... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-07-08 21:52:23
Enchantress of Numbers: A Novel of Ada Lovelace (2017)
Jennifer Chiaverini
This voluminous (448 page) work of historical fiction is told in first person from the perspective of Ada Byron King (Lady Lovelace) herself. Nevertheless, as the author can count on the reader to have... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-06-25 09:21:22
The Invention of Ana [Forestillinger om Ana Ivan] (2016)
Mikkel Rosengaard
A Danish writer visiting New York becomes obsessed with the life story of Ana Ivan, a Romanian artist that he meets. She tells him about two lovers, about her parents' lives under the autocratic rule... (more)
Last Changed: 2018-06-23 08:39:35
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 mathematical problems nor the boy's success in the competition is the main... (more)
Last Changed: 2017-12-30 10:54:48

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)