a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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One Under the Eight (1994)
Catherine Aird
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

A creative but simple mathematical code is utilized by a criminal to secretly pass a number (one that will disable a security system) to an accomplice during a wine tasting event in this short detective story.

Spoiler Alert: Although they are being closely observed by detectives to make sure they did not communicate the secret number to anyone, one of the suspects was somehow able to convey it to another person at a wine tasting event. This situation is quite contrived, and I can think of many simpler ways they could have achieved it, but it is cute that the number was conveyed in base 3 using the selection of white, red and rosé wines as the digits.

Thanks to Johan Richter who wrote to let me know about Aird's use of mathematics.

More information about this work can be found at
(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.)

Works Similar to One Under the Eight
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Math Code by Alex Kasman
  2. 1 to 999 by Isaac Asimov
  3. Codes, Puzzles & Conspiracy [a.k.a. Dr. Ecco, Mathematical Detective] by Dennis Shasha
  4. Benchmark by Catherine Aird
  5. Mathematical Doom by Paul Ernst
  6. The Puzzling Adventures of Dr. Ecco by Dennis Shasha
  7. The Locked House of Pythagoras [P. no Misshitsu] by Soji Shimada
  8. Moriarty by Modem by Jack Nimersheim
  9. The Fourth Quadrant by Dorothy Lumley
  10. The Mask of Zeus by Desmond Cory
Ratings for One Under the Eight:
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:
2/5 (1 votes)

TopicComputers/Cryptography, Algebra/Arithmetic/Number Theory,
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)