a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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The Grand Wheel (1977)
Barrington J. Bayley
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

Contributed by Ray Girvan

This is primarily space opera, but with a mathematical element in the fictional discovery of randomatics: a science which shows that the Gambler's Fallacy is true under certain conditions, enabling random sequences - even from, say, subatomic decay - to be predicted by 'randomatic calculus'.

The hero, a gambler and professor of randomatics, is caught up in a three-way battle between between the forces of law and order; an evil gambling cartel called The Grand Wheel; and the Hadranics, aliens who gamble on the fate of galaxies.

While the mathematics is neither very deep nor accurate, the book has a few pleasant in-jokes such as the omnipresent gambling machine called a fermat.

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Works Similar to The Grand Wheel
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Improbable by Adam Fawer
  2. Timescape by Gregory Benford
  3. Trouble on Triton by Samuel R. Delany
  4. Children of Dune by Frank Herbert
  5. Drop by Lisa Papademitriou
  6. The Flight of the Dragonfly (aka Rocheworld) by Robert L. Forward
  7. The Planiverse: computer contact with a two-dimensional world by A.K. Dewdney
  8. The Ghost from the Grand Banks by Arthur C. Clarke
  9. The Investigation by Stanislaw Lem
  10. Rama II by Arthur C. Clarke / Gentry Lee
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GenreScience Fiction,

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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)