a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
|According to the "foreward to the Anchor Books Edition", this
collection of short stories is "strung together on a few echoed and developed themes and [circles] back upon itself; not to close a simple circuit like that of Joyce's Finnegan's Wake, emblematic of Viconian etermal return, but to make a circuit with a twist to it, like a Möbius strip, emblematic of -- well, read the book."
I did read the book, and recognized that the theme of creation (sexual and literary) seemed to tie the stories together. However, were it not for this passage in the foreward and for the first "story", I would not have thought to include it in this list of mathematical fiction.
The first "story", called Frame-tale, is actually a Mobius strip! It is a single page with the words "ONCE UPON A TIME THERE" written at one edge and "WAS A STORY THAT BEGAN" on the opposite side, with instructions for joining the ends to make a Möbius strip.
A visitor to this site, Birgit Gerdes, has written me to let me know that she believes there is a great deal of hidden mathematics in this collection of stories. In general, I shy away from such statements since I believe that you can "find" hidden math in any work of fiction (or non-fiction). However, since the author clearly had at least some mathematics in mind when writing this work, perhaps there is justification in finding mathematics in expressions such as "In sum..." which can ordinarily be used in English without any real mathematical implications.
(Also, take a look at the review of this book by mathematician Nik Weaver at his "Math in Fiction" website.)
|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)