a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Infinities (2002)
John Barrow

This play, written by Cambridge cosmologist John Barrow, has been produced and performed in Italy (Milan and Valencia). It is made up of five separate vignettes several of which touch on the deep mathematics of "infinity". In one, we see a theatrical production of an old standard: Hilbert's Hotel with countably many rooms. In another, we are brought to Borges' "Library of Babel". The fourth dramatizes the arguments between Cantor and Kronecker about the nature of infinity. The other two scenarios, about time travel and the possibilities of living forever, are decidedly less mathematical.

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Works Similar to Infinities
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Hilbert's Hotel by Ian Stewart
  2. Doctor Who: The Turing Test by Paul Leonard
  3. The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges
  4. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
  5. Ultima lezione a Gottinga [Last lecture at Göttingen] by Davide Osenda
  6. The Loom of God: Mathematical Tapestries at the Edge of Time by Clifford Pickover
  7. To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
  8. Dude, can you count? by Christian Constanda
  9. The Smithsonian Institution by Gore Vidal
  10. Turing (A Novel About Computation) by Christos Papadimitriou
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GenreHistorical Fiction, Humorous, Science Fiction, Didactic,
MotifReal Mathematicians, Time Travel,
TopicInfinity, Real Mathematics,

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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)