a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Eversion (2022)
Alastair Reynolds
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

One supporting character in this science fiction novel is a young mathematician whose solution to a problem involving sphere eversion is essential to the success of the mission. But, as it is not clear to the reader what the mission is (or even what is real) for much of the novel, it is difficult to say much more without spoilers. So, if you want to be surprised by all of the twists and turns in the plot, I recommend that you stop reading this review now.

Spoiler Alert: Minor Spoilers Below!

The book begins as a 19th century maritime adventure. The narrator is Silas Coade, the ship's doctor. Coade attempts to conceal his own drug addiction and keep the crew healthy as they search for a mysterious object hidden in a narrow fjord. The crew includes a tough-as-nails security officer named Ramos, a mathematician named Dupin, and a countess named Ada Cossile. However, there are clues that things are not as they seem, and the same crew soon find themselves on a zeppelin and in what appears to be a pulp science fiction space opera. This allows the author the fun of imitating different writing styles and genres, but it turns out that these are essentially dreams hiding a darker reality: crew members are being held captive in a spherical alien space craft that has undergone partial eversion, so that it is no longer easy to tell the interior from the exterior.

Two major themes of the novel are the ethics of sacrificing some members of the crew to save others, and the extent to which an artificial intelligence can be thought of as being "human". But, in the portions featuring Dupin, the beauty of mathematics and the sort of fame which mathematicians desire also arise.

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Works Similar to Eversion
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Permafrost by Alastair Reynolds
  2. Arcadia by Iain Pears
  3. Diamond Dogs by Alastair Reynolds
  4. Distances by Vandana Singh
  5. The Clockwork Rocket [Orthogonal Book One] by Greg Egan
  6. The Doors of Eden by Adrian Tchaikovsky
  7. Count to a Trillion by John C. Wright
  8. The Humans: A Novel by Matt Haig
  9. Strange Attractors by Charles Soule (author) / Greg Scott (Illustrator)
  10. The Martian by Andy Weir
Ratings for Eversion:
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)
Literary Quality:
4/5 (1 votes)

GenreScience Fiction,
MotifAliens, Math as Beautiful/Exciting/Useful,

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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)