a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Pure Math (1992)
John Timson

Contributed by Vijay Fafat

A mildly funny and fairly predictable time travel story involving a stand-alone time loop created by information sent back in time. Jacob Appel is a “Nobel Laureate and the man acknowledged by nearly everyone as the world’s greatest living mathematician”, one who creates “a mathematical proof that it was possible, in pure maths at least, to send non-living objects back in time.”. He sends this proof as a paper, "A Mathematical Exposition of the Possibility of Small Scale Time Travel into the Past", to a journal, from where, through some unscrupulous behaviour by a couple of editors lands the paper in the past (from 2005 to 1926) with one Mr. Geoffrey Meadowcraft, who publishes it as a “famous paper” titled “A Mathematical Proof of the Possibility of Time Travel” in the journal, “Theoretical Physics and Unusual Mathematics”. The Meadowcroft Equations are used in 2005 by Jacob Appel to invent “forward time travel”, after which, “The world was never the same again.”.

Pulished in the Jan/Feb 1992 issue of "Far Point".

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Works Similar to Pure Math
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
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  2. Feigenbaum Number by Nancy Kress
  3. Ylem by Eliot Fintushel
  4. Luminous by Greg Egan
  5. Gödel geht [Gödel's Exit] by Andreas Findig
  6. Planck Zero by Stephen Baxter
  7. Glory by Greg Egan
  8. Dark Integers by Greg Egan
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GenreScience Fiction,
MotifProving Theorems, Time Travel,
TopicFictional Mathematics,
MediumShort Stories,

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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)