a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall (2012)
Nancy Kress
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

The last 26 humans alive resort to kidnapping children from the past in order to save themselves from the oppressive aliens who keep them in "The Shell". Mathematics enters in the form of Julie Kahn, a statistician working for the FBI in 2013 (which is "the past" in the novel) who discovers a pattern in the kidnappings that leads her to the strange truth.

There really isn't much math here (the word "algorithm" is thrown around a lot), but it is always nice to see a hero (or heroine) using mathematics, and the format of the novel (three separate timelines interwoven, as the title suggests) is effective.

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Works Similar to After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Time, Like an Ever Rolling Stream by Judith Moffett
  2. The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua
  3. Permafrost by Alastair Reynolds
  4. The Turing Option by Harry Harrison / Marvin Minksy
  5. Reading by Numbers by Aidan Doyle
  6. The Investigation by Stanislaw Lem
  7. Magpie Lane by Lucy Atkins
  8. Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
  9. Singer Distance by Ethan Chatagnier
  10. Eversion by Alastair Reynolds
Ratings for After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall:
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:
1/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
4/5 (1 votes)

GenreMystery, Science Fiction,
MotifAliens, Female Mathematicians, Time Travel,

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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)