a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Sharper than a Sword (1983)
Alexander Petrovich Kazantsev

The famous Soviet science fiction author Kazantsev wrote this fantasy adventure featuring Pierre de Fermat. as the primary protagonist.

As far as I know, the book is out of print and available only in Russian. So, it is not easy for me to track down information about it. Some reviews online make it clear that it is a work of mathematical fiction in which Fermat's love of mathematics is relevant as he deals with "Three Musketeers"-style duels and fantastical challenges. We also know that it included a description of Fermat's Last Theorem, including the fact that it was (at the time the novel was written) famously an open problem in mathematics.

Thanks to Thomas Riepe for bringing this work of mathematical fiction to my attention and to both Oleg Smirnov and Vijay Fafat for helping to track down some information about it.

More information about this work can be found at
(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 Sharper than a Sword
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Fermat's Last Tango by Joanne Sydney Lessner / Joshua Rosenblum
  2. Arcadia by Iain Pears
  3. Enigma by Robert Harris / Tom Stoppard
  4. Mandelbrot the Magnificent by Liz Ziemska
  5. The Sabre Squadron by Simon Raven
  6. Ada's Room by Sharon Dodo Otoo
  7. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
  8. The Eight by Katherine Neville
  9. The Parrot's Theorem by Denis Guedj
  10. The Lost Books of the Odyssey by Zachary Mason
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GenreHistorical Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure/Espionage,
MotifReal Mathematicians,
TopicAlgebra/Arithmetic/Number Theory,

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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)