a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Rithmatic (2015)
B.J. Novak
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

A school principal secretly proposes to his students that they all just agree not to bother with math in school:

(quoted from Rithmatic)

“Now do I wish you all knew math? Were great at math? Were f---ing mathematicians? Of course! It'd be better. But not much better, listen to me. Not so much better that it's worth turning eight years of potential heaven — wait, nine? K-one-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight, yeah, nine” — he wasn't, as was becoming clear, much of a math guy — “nine years of heaven of just reading books and jotting down your thoughts about them — it's just not worth turning nine years of heaven into nine years of hell. You'll get to high school, and you'll be behind in math, fine. But probably not that far — the other schools in this town are sh--, let's be honest.”

In some ways, this is more like an extended joke (from an author more famous for his stand-up routines than his writing), but I've decided to list it here anyway.

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Works Similar to Rithmatic
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. A Good Problem to Have by B.J. Novak
  2. A Deprogrammer's Tale by Colin Adams
  3. Robbins v. New York by Colin Adams
  4. Mathematically Bent by Colin Adams
  5. Freemium by Louis Evans
  6. Mathematics Disputes with Death, and the Devil Intervenes by Thomas Reed Willemain
  7. The Zero Theorem by Pat Rushin (screenplay) / Terry Gilliam (director)
  8. The Mathematics of Being Human by Michelle Osherow / Manil Suri
  9. All the Universe in a Mason Jar by Joe Haldeman
  10. Probability Pipeline by Rudy Rucker / Marc Laidlaw
Ratings for Rithmatic:
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:
4/5 (2 votes)
Literary Quality:
2.5/5 (2 votes)

MotifMath as Cold/Dry/Useless, Math Education,
MediumShort Stories,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)