a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Distances (2008)
Vandana Singh
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)
Note: This work of mathematical fiction is recommended by Alex for hardcore fans of science fiction.

Most members of Anasunya's species have "a gift". Since she has a gift of mathematics, she leaves her aquatic home and begins working at the Temple of Mathematical Arts. She has a gift that allows her to intuitively understand, almost to live in equations and is asked by another alien species to study equations describing an intricate higher dimensional geometric object that is beyond their understanding. As she studies it, she comes to think that the embedded, self-intersecting, 4-dimensional sub-manifold may not be merely interesting and beautiful in an abstract sense, but may have tremendous significance in the real world as well.

This is a beautifully written bit of mathematical fiction by an author who apparently knows mathematics pretty well. Highly recommended for fans of "hard" science fiction.

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Works Similar to Distances
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Clockwork Rocket [Orthogonal Book One] by Greg Egan
  2. Luminous by Greg Egan
  3. Ratner's Star by Don DeLillo
  4. Diaspora by Greg Egan
  5. The Doors of Eden by Adrian Tchaikovsky
  6. Eversion by Alastair Reynolds
  7. Star, Bright by Mark Clifton
  8. Beyond Infinity by Gregory Benford
  9. The Hidden Girl by Ken Liu
  10. From the Earth to the Moon [De la Terre à la Lune, trajet direct en 97 heures 20 minutes] by Jules Verne
Ratings for Distances:
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:
5/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
4/5 (1 votes)

GenreScience Fiction,
MotifAliens, Higher/Lower Dimensions, Female Mathematicians, Math as Beautiful/Exciting/Useful, Religion,
TopicGeometry/Topology/Trigonometry, Mathematical Physics,

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Exciting News: The total number of works of mathematical fiction listed in this database recently reached a milestone. The 1,500th entry is The Man of Forty Crowns by Voltaire. Thanks to Vijay Fafat for writing the summary of that work (and so many others). I am also grateful to everyone who has contributed to this website. Heck, I'm grateful to everyone who visited the site. Thank you!

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)