a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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The Tachypomp (1873)
Edward Page Mitchell

I can't believe this story is as old as it is! First published in Scribner's Magazine in 1873, it is only dated by its sexism and its contradition of Einstein. In order to win the hand of the beautiful Abscissa Surd, our hero must either invent a perpetual motion machine or figure out how to propel an object to an infinite velocity in a finite time. (These conditions are posed by her father...Abscissa has no say in the matter at all.) He does the latter...sort of.
Reprinted in Fantasia Mathematica.

Contributed by Anonymous

So cheery and uplifting! I first read this story in high school 40 years ago and remembered most details of this charming story! If I won the lottery, I would build a tachypomp!

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Works Similar to The Tachypomp
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Scandal in the Fourth Dimension by Amelia Reynolds Long (as "A.R. Long")
  2. Topsy-turvy (Sans Dessus Dessous) by Jules Verne
  3. The Heart on the Other Side by George Gamow
  4. Barr’s Problem by Julian Hawthorne
  5. Applied Mathematics by Percival Henry Truman
  6. Round the Moon by Jules Verne
  7. The Story of Yung Chang by Ernest Bramah (Ernest Bramah Smith)
  8. Professor Morgan's Moon by Stanley Waterloo
  9. The Geometrics of Johnny Day by Nelson Bond
  10. The Chair of Philanthromathematics by O. Henry (William Sydney Porter)
Ratings for The Tachypomp:
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.
Mathematical Content:
2.25/5 (4 votes)
Literary Quality:
3.75/5 (4 votes)

GenreHumorous, Science Fiction,
MediumShort Stories,

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Exciting News: The 1,600th entry was recently added to this database of mathematical fiction! Also, for those of you interested in non-fictional math books let me (shamelessly) plug the recent release of the second edition of my soliton theory textbook.

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)