 a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

 ... Art Thou Mathematics? (1978) Charles Mobbs
 Highly Rated!

Short story (Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, October 1978 Vol. 98 No 10) concerning the very nature of mathematical discovery. It was later rewritten in the form of a play, which the author has graciously allowed me to freely distribute here.

I enjoyed reading the play very much. The joke about the mathematical universe being filled up with infinite series is funny, even if the mathematician in me can't help but say "Wait, that doesn't make any sense." The portrayal of the mathematician, in many ways, is very realistic even if not flattering. However, my main objection is that this story (actually, all I read is the play) creates the impression that mathematicians do not think of coming up with axioms as creating a universe from scratch. Of course, that's what it is and that is one of the joys of mathematics (just as one of the wonders of mathematics is that we seem to be able to find so much application for these fantasy universes in our real one).

Note: In the play, the mathematician introduces the idea of uncountable infinities in order to explain how there can be a proper infinite subset of an infinite set. In fact, there is no need to introduce Cantor's ideas of infinity here. The fact that infinite subsets do not have to be the entire set are clear from examples involving only positive integers. For example, notice that the powers of 2 (2, 4, 8, 16, ...) is an infinite subset of the set of positive integers, but that doesn't mean that all positive integers are powers of two!

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Works Similar to Art Thou Mathematics?
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
1. The Girl with the Celestial Limb by Pauline Melville
2. Unreasonable Effectiveness by Alex Kasman
3. The Rubbish Researchers Puzzle by Michael W. Lucht
4. Stranger than Fiction by Marc Forster (Director) / Zach Helm (Screenplay)
5. After Math by Miriam Webster
6. Refund by Fritz Karinthy (original) / Percival Wilde (English Adaptation)
7. Jack and the Aktuals, or, Physical Applications of Transfinite Set Theory by Rudy Rucker
8. All the Universe in a Mason Jar by Joe Haldeman
9. A New Golden Age by Rudy Rucker
10. Mathematicians in Love by Rudy Rucker
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