a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Through the Gates of the Silver Key (1934)
H.P. Lovecraft / E. Hoffmann Price
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

Contributed by Jody Trout, Dartmouth.

"We read of the fantastic travels of the dreamer and mystic Randolph Carter as he arrives at the Ultimate Gate separating the parallel dimensions and alternate realities of the Universe. The Gate is guarded by the strange beings known as the Ancient Ones, who reveal the true higher-dimensional reality of the world. In the end, Randolph transmutates into an insectoid version of himself from another time and space...."

It was first published in the July 1934 issue of Weird Tales.

Contributed by Alex Elder

"Considering it was written in collaboration it strikes me that, (when compared to other Lovecraft) that the 'Math' is the work of the collaborative artist. The work is a bit neo-platonist, i.e. contrast Plato's Timaeus and the stuff written about intersecting solids and also the concept of the ideal carter outside space time. This contrasts to the quite nihilistic and decadent tone in the text as well (see Pickman's model amongst others). The Multidimensionality of Carter's existence is profound, the final literary explosion could have been Lovecraft setting up chattering polylogues between the Carter-facets, linking up the text rhizomatically. Maths? I don't know much about maths!"

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Works Similar to Through the Gates of the Silver Key
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Dreams in the Witch-House by H.P. Lovecraft
  2. The Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft
  3. Mersenne's Mistake by Jason Earls
  4. The Mathematics of Magic by L. Sprague de Camp / Fletcher Pratt
  5. Vampire World (Trilogy) by Brian Lumley
  6. Mysterious Mysteries of the Aro Valley by Danyl McLauchlan
  7. Plane and Fancy by P. Schuyler Miller
  8. The Ghosts by Lord Dunsany
  9. Solid Geometry by Ian McEwan
  10. When the Devil Took the Professor [Wie der Teufel den Professor holte] by Kurd Lasswitz
Ratings for Through the Gates of the Silver Key:
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:
2/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
4/5 (1 votes)

GenreScience Fiction, Fantasy, Horror,
MotifHigher/Lower Dimensions,
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)