a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
|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.
|Buy this work of mathematical fiction and read reviews at amazon.com.|
|(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.)|
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)