a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
"William E. Emba"|
This is Poe's account of an alleged balloon trip to the
moon, in the spirit of the then infamous moon hoax. The
balloon rider describes the Earth as appearing concave when
5 miles up. Later, a highly detailed geometric explanation
of this illusion is given.
See also the earlier Poe story "The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall" (1835) on the same idea.
I love Poe, really and truly, but I would steer casual readers elsewhere. This short story, with its dense and dry narrative, is a painful reading experience in the extreme.
John C. Konrath|
While this tale certainly starts slowly with a detailed description of the balloon and its predecessors, the pace picks up with the journal of the actual flight. When the reader bares in mind that this story was written in 1850 its remarkable nature becomes clear. The most interesting aspect of this work is found in comparing the anticipated future of aeronautic progress with what has actually transpired. This was certainly a daring work in its day and Poe's enthusiasm for science makes this story still worth reading.
|More information about this work can be found at xroads.virginia.edu.|
|(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 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)