a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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The Indefatigable Frog (1953)
Philip K. Dick
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A parody of science utilizing the old "Zeno's Paradox". Originally appeared in Fantastic Story Magazine (July 1953) and republished recently in The Ascent of Wonder.

Contributed by Hauke Reddmann

A funny story where annoyingly physics gets in the way of Gedankenexperiments. Two professors clash about whether Zenos paradox is for real: Can a frog which makes jumps of 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8... really reach 2? Math says yes, but they agree to solve it experimentally. One prof maliciously puts the other in the companionsship of the frog. Now *he* must run too from the doomsday device which also halves his size which each step. It ends obviously - as soon as he is smaller than atoms, he passes easily through the backdoor of the contraption, and out of the shrinking field, where he regrows. The most funny thing is the end: The prof is not angry about the other playing such a prank on him, but about Nature which ruined the experimental setup with her dreckeffekts.

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Works Similar to The Indefatigable Frog
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
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  4. The Higher Mathematics by Martin C. Wodehouse
  5. Unreasonable Effectiveness by Alex Kasman
  6. A New Golden Age by Rudy Rucker
  7. Monster by Alex Kasman
  8. Message Found in a Copy of Flatland by Rudy Rucker
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  10. Quanto scommettiamo ("How much do you want to bet?") by Italo Calvino
Ratings for The Indefatigable Frog:
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:
3/5 (3 votes)
Literary Quality:
4/5 (3 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)