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The Remarkable Case of Davidson's Eyes (1895)
Herbert George Wells
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

Rather than seeing what is actually around him in England, Davidson sees events occurring on a rock off of the Antipodes Island. The explanation offered includes the notion of non-flat geometries for space.

(quoted from The Remarkable Case of Davidson's Eyes)

That completes the remarkable story of Davidson's eyes. It's perhaps the best authenticated case in existence of real vision at a distance. Explanation there is none forthcoming, except what Professor Wade has thrown out. But his explanation invokes the Fourth Dimension, and a dissertation on theoretical kinds of space. To talk of there being "a kink in space" seems mere nonsense to me; it may be because I am no mathematician. When I said that nothing would alter the fact that the place is eight thousand miles away, he answered that two points might be a yard away on a sheet of paper, and yet be brought together by bending the paper round. The reader may grasp his argument, but I certainly do not. His idea seems to be that Davidson, stooping between the poles of the big electro-magnet, had some extraordinary twist given to his retinal elements through the sudden change in the field of force due to the lightning.

A TV episode based on this story was broadcast as part of The Infinite Worlds of H.G. Wells. The story was well enhanced by a number of interesting additions to the plot, but the tiny mathematical component was removed.

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Works Similar to The Remarkable Case of Davidson's Eyes
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Time Machine by Herbert George Wells
  2. Love and a Triangle by Stanley Waterloo
  3. The Plattner Story by Herbert George Wells
  4. Barr’s Problem by Julian Hawthorne
  5. Axiom of Dreams by Arula Ratnakar
  6. Solid Geometry by Ian McEwan
  7. Star, Bright by Mark Clifton
  8. The Star by Herbert George Wells
  9. The Fifth-Dimension Catapult by Murray Leinster
  10. Into the Fourth by Adam Hull Shirk
Ratings for The Remarkable Case of Davidson's Eyes:
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.
Mathematical Content:
1.33/5 (3 votes)
Literary Quality:
3.67/5 (3 votes)

GenreScience Fiction,
MediumShort Stories, Available Free Online,

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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)