MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Bonnie's Story: A Blonde's Guide to Mathematics (2013)
Janis Hill
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Bonnie wakes one morning to find an unusual stranger named Rogan taking pictures of street signs near her home. Despite the apparent implications of being "a blonde", Bonnie is sufficiently well-versed in scientific lingo to understand what it means when he explains:

(quoted from Bonnie's Story: A Blonde's Guide to Mathematics)

"If you must know, it's to make reference points that allow my algorithmic calculations, based non a quantum level of physics, to activate the final destination quadrant of said algorithms so that they manifest into a successful conjunction, giving me the desired result."

He means that he has made a mathematical discovery which allows him to transport himself (and Bonnie) to any location by inserting pictures of street signs into the equations:

(quoted from Bonnie's Story: A Blonde's Guide to Mathematics)

Turning to ask whaat he was doing now, I found him standing the middle of a light blue cloud of ... numbers? It was like some sort of expensive cigarette smoke, but instead of forming smoke rings, it shimmered and swirled around him in algorithmic jargon.

"What the...?" I know, Mum; I said I'd given up swearing.

He grinned, though it was obvious he also had to concentrate on what he was doing.

'I call it `Maths that Stays'." He preened, holding his phone up to an obvious hole in the formula, and started flipping through the photos on it. "Like me to show you how it works."

This is a cool description of how some mathematical magic might work, physically filling in a blank in a floating formula with a picture on a phone to complete the equation. I haven't read the entire book, but have looked at enough reviews and excerpts to suspect that this is really the extent of the mathematical content. Rogan and the group of friends he travel with occasionally talk about `Maths that Stays', but no additional mathematical details are revealed. Instead, it seems that the novel focuses on the arc of the romantic relationship between Bonnie and Rogan which appears to follow the usual path: She dislikes him at first, learns to appreciate him a bit more, then hates him and swears she never wants to see him again before they both recognize that it is "true love" and live happily ever after.....but with teleportation and floating clouds of numbers!

Bonnie's Story could be classified as science fiction (I'd almost call it "fantasy" despite its attempt to justify the magic by mentioning quantum mechanics), romance, or comedy. (An example of its wry sense of humor: Rogan's real name is Josh. His friends call him "Rogan", presumably in reference to the Kashmiri curried meat dish.) So, it is an unusual blend of genres, all delivered with an Australian accent.

Thanks to Vijay Fafat for bringing this novel to my attention.

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(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 Bonnie's Story: A Blonde's Guide to Mathematics
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Resistance is Futile by Jenny T. Colgan
  2. Bellwether by Connie Willis
  3. Imaginary Numbers by Seanan McGuire
  4. The Givenchy Code by Julie Kenner
  5. Calculated Risks by Seanan McGuire
  6. The Smithsonian Institution by Gore Vidal
  7. Mysterious Mysteries of the Aro Valley by Danyl McLauchlan
  8. Monster's Proof by Richard Lewis
  9. Pyramids by Terry Pratchett
  10. Monday Begins on Saturday by Arkady Strugatsky / Boris Strugatsky
Ratings for Bonnie's Story: A Blonde's Guide to Mathematics:
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)
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Literary Quality:
3/5 (1 votes)
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Categories:
GenreHumorous, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance,
MotifRomance,
Topic
MediumNovels,

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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)