a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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I’ll Follow The Sun (2014)
Paul Di Filippo
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

An American math student in Canada in 1964 obtains help from his math professor, Chan Davis, to avoid being drafted into the military during the Vietnam War, which had already killed his uncle. The math research that Davis is working on allows the student to travel forwards in time to 2014 (allowing for some in-jokes about how things had changed in a half-century) and also back in time (allowing him to save his uncle). There are unexpected consequences of his attempts to change the course of time, which ironically is to be expected.

To me, the most interesting aspect of this story is the professor character and his connection to mathematical fiction. In reality, Chandler "Chan" Davis is a mathematician who moved to Canada after being imprisoned in the United States for his refusal to cooperate with the House Unamerican Activities Committee. He writes science fiction under the name "Chan Davis", including the story The Statistomat Pitch, which is included in this database. Davis also has co-organized a wonderful series of writing workshops. I was fortunate enough to have been able to attend one of them and the book which was produced by the participants is also included in this database of mathematical fiction.

DeFilippo's story was published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction's November-December 2014 issue (#716).

(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 I’ll Follow The Sun
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Emmy's Time by Anthony Bonato
  2. The Pythagoras Problem by Trevor Baxendale
  3. The Woman Who Shook the World-Tree by Michael Swanwick
  4. The Mandelbrot Bet by Dirk Strasser
  5. The Axiom of Choice by David W. Goldman
  6. Altogether Elsewhere, Vast Herds of Reindeer by Ken Liu
  7. Music of the Spheres by Ken Liu
  8. Cantor Trilogy by Harun Šiljak
  9. Cap and Gown by Eric Flint
  10. The Sigma Structure Symphony by Gregory Benford
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GenreScience Fiction,
MotifReal Mathematicians, Time Travel,
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)