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Herbrand's Conjecture and the White Sox Scandal (1993)
Eliot Fintushel
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Contributed by Eliot Fintushel

Hi, I'm Eliot Fintushel, the author of HERBRAND'S CONJECTURE AND THE WHITE SOX SCANDAL. The idea is that the mathematical logician Jacques Herbrand who actually did die in a mountaineering accident the same time that his article was coming out on matters related to the Goedel consistency theorem, was murdered by aliens who needed to hush him up, because they were using certain lacunae in the metamathematical structures of mind or of space-time to sneak through in order to devour humanity. (They have also sneaked through one of the opening notes of Bobby Vinton's recording of "Blue Velvet.") A psychic named Izzy Molson gets wise to them and fights them. In the course of this fight, the value of pi changes, wreaking havoc on earthly geometry, people are able to make money by paying off the WINNERS of sporting events, Zen students are deluded into thinking themselves spontaneously enlightened, the Swedish Ambassador gets a delicious neck massage, and we are offered various penetrating insights into the nature of perception and reality. And the good guys win. And pi returns to 3.1415....whatever.

But not without a terrible fight.

This story appeared in tomorrow magazine in 1991 or so, just after Fermat's last theorem was proved, which caused me some difficulty, as I had to change some of my text to accomodate Wyell's [sic] discovery. Actual mathematicians can be such a damn nuisance.

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Ratings for Herbrand's Conjecture and the White Sox Scandal:
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:
4/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
3/5 (1 votes)

GenreScience Fiction,
MotifAliens, Real Mathematicians, Kurt Gödel,
TopicLogic/Set Theory,
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)