a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

Home All New Browse Search About

The Whole Mess (2016)
Jack Skillingstead

By solving a mathematical equation brought to him by a young stranger, a math professor allows the squid-like "Masters" to enter our universe, leaving havoc in their wake. The professor finds himself taking on the identities of other people in other universes. In one he finds himself as a young man who is unqualified to be a student at the very university where his true identity is on the faculty:

(quoted from The Whole Mess)

The whole thing was an ironic counterpoint to my original arrival, a decade and a few iterations ago, when I was the over-qualified applicant for a teaching position that would ensure insulation from the cries of Genius! that had hectored me since grade school. Now I fell short even as an aging freshman looking for validation in the form of a degree in the humanities.

This story appeared in the September 2016 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine.

(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 The Whole Mess
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Nanunculus by Ian Watson
  2. The Writing on the Wall by Steve Stanton
  3. The Doors of Eden by Adrian Tchaikovsky
  4. Finity by John Barnes
  5. The Robot's Math Lessons by Yoon Ha Lee
  6. The Mandelbrot Bet by Dirk Strasser
  7. Emmy's Time by Anthony Bonato
  8. 3-adica by Greg Egan
  9. The Hyland Resolution by Justin Tarquin
  10. The Simplest Equation by Nicky Drayden
Ratings for The Whole Mess:
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.


GenreScience Fiction,
MediumShort Stories,

Home All New Browse Search About

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)