a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
|The protagonist(s) in this story are symbiotic creatures who can only see in all directions when they work together because the laws of physics in their world have strange implications for the way that light can travel.
This novel is clearly a philosophical descendant of Flatland and very similar to Egan's recent Orthogonal Series which takes place in a universe whose spacetime metric is entirely positive (unlike ours in which one of the four components is negative).
The relevant mathematics here is that of hyperbolic geometry. In fact, the cover of the book shows a planet whose surface is a hyperboloid! Hence, this novel ought to be compared with Christopher Priest's Inverted World and Stephen Baxter's Pacific Mystery. Of course, being Greg Egan, he takes it much farther than either of those two authors.
Egan is known for writing "hard science fiction" in which plot and character development take a back seat to an exploration of the consequences of some unusual technology or physical laws. In their review, Publisher's Weekly wrote: "Impressively bizarre . . . Egan may have out-Eganed himself with this one."
|Buy this work of mathematical fiction and read reviews at amazon.com. |
|(Note: This is just one work of
mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more
works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)|
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)