a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Georgia on My Mind (1995)
Charles Sheffield
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

Contributed by Michele Benzi

The story has to do with Babbage's Analytical Engine and a remote region of Antarctica (the "Georgia" of the title). The mathematics bit, aside from Babbage, consists of a nonlinear optimization problem facing the main characters, for the solution of which they contact "Gene", a numerical analyst from Stanford, who was actually a real person (Gene Golub, an eminent numerical analysts whom I knew very well and co-authored four papers with). There is a brief discussion of the computational complexity of the problem ("it's definitely non-polynomial...").

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Works Similar to Georgia on My Mind
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Difference Engine by William Gibson / Bruce Sterling
  2. In The Country of the Blind by Michael Flynn
  3. Dark as Day by Charles Sheffield
  4. The Ganymede Club by Charles Sheffield
  5. Conservation of Probability by Brook West
  6. Snow by Geoffrey A. Landis
  7. Pure Math by John Timson
  8. The Cubist and the Madman by Robert Metzger
  9. Freemium by Louis Evans
  10. The Whisper of Disks by John Meaney
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GenreScience Fiction,
MotifAliens, Real Mathematicians,
TopicComputers/Cryptography, Analysis/Calculus/Differential,
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)