a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Solenoid (2015)
Mircea Cartarescu

In this surrealistic existentialist novel, a school teacher in Romania (who has much in common with the author) seeks to escape from his boring life. A solenoid built into the foundation of his new house provides him with the ability to see or travel to "higher dimensions". In addition to his own explorations into higher dimensional geometry, the fictional protagonist of this novel learns about real 19th century mathematicians George Boole, his wife Mary Everest, and their son-in-law Charles Howard Hinton. (Hinton is especially well known for his work on and advocacy of higher dimensional mathematics, and in fact is the author of a work of mathematical fiction in this database.)

As I write this review in summer 2022, the first English translation is going to be published later this year. I hope to be able to update this entry once I have had a chance to read it.

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Works Similar to Solenoid
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Invention of Ana [Forestillinger om Ana Ivan] by Mikkel Rosengaard
  2. Symmetry and the Expatriate by Tefcros Michaelides
  3. Dirac by Dietmar Dath
  4. Leeches by David Albahari
  5. The Doors of Eden by Adrian Tchaikovsky
  6. Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan
  7. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
  8. Dichronauts by Greg Egan
  9. The Eternal Flame [Orthogonal Book Two] by Greg Egan
  10. The Humans: A Novel by Matt Haig
Ratings for Solenoid:
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GenreScience Fiction,
MotifAliens, Higher/Lower Dimensions, Real Mathematicians,

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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)