a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Ylem (1994)
Eliot Fintushel
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

Contributed by "William E. Emba"

Another Fintushel Big-Bang-And-Back Totally-Weird adventure, the plot concerns a business conflict in the helium market. Somebody dickered with the primordial nucleosynthesis, and somebody else wants to change it back.

Explicit algebra, with commentary, involving Hubble's constant shows up as part of an explanation of what is happening at one point.

`Ylem', by the way, is the Primordial Stuff of the universe, according to Norse mythology. The word was used by George Gamow as part of the Big Bang model, but it never caught on.

Appeared in ASIMOV'S (Oct 94) pp 10-35. ("De Rerum" in ABORIGINAL SCIENCE FICTION is a sequel.)

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Works Similar to Ylem
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Fillet of Man by Eliot Fintushel
  2. Herbrand's Conjecture and the White Sox Scandal by Eliot Fintushel
  3. Hamisch in Avalon by Eliot Fintushel
  4. The Grass and Tree by Eliot Fintushel
  5. Izzy at the Lucky Three by Eliot Fintushel
  6. Pure Math by John Timson
  7. Snow by Geoffrey A. Landis
  8. Emmy's Time by Anthony Bonato
  9. The Mandelbrot Bet by Dirk Strasser
  10. Conservation of Probability by Brook West
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GenreScience Fiction,
MotifTime Travel,
TopicAlgebra/Arithmetic/Number Theory, Mathematical Physics,
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)