a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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The Problem of Cell 13 (1907)
Jacques Futrelle

Contributed by "William E. Emba".

"The story which introduces Professor S. F. X. van Dusen, professional scientific supergenius, who lends his talents to solving baffling mysteries. He is described as primarily a logician, who spent years proving that 2+2=4, except in the rare cases when it doesn't."

I just learned, from reading Clarke's Ghost from the Grand Banks that Futrelle died at the sinking of the Titanic. All of his stories are available for free online. In particular, click here to read the Problem of Cell 13.

Contributed by Nemesis

It was a beautifully clever story, although it featured on its own very little math. However, I'm glad it's archived here anyway, since it was a *pleasure* to read.

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Works Similar to The Problem of Cell 13
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Musgrave Ritual by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  2. Mathematical Doom by Paul Ernst
  3. Adventure of the Final Problem by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  4. The Ingenious Mr. Spinola by Ernest Bramah
  5. The Image in the Mirror by Dorothy Leigh Sayers
  6. Percentage Player by Leslie Charteris
  7. Holy Disorders by Edmund Crispin
  8. Who Killed the Duke of Densmore? by Claude Berge
  9. The Bishop Murder Case by S.S. van Dine (pseudonym of Willard Huntington Wright)
  10. The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Ratings for The Problem of Cell 13:
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:
2.69/5 (10 votes)
Literary Quality:
4.69/5 (10 votes)

MediumShort Stories, Available Free Online,

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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)