a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Brain Wave (1954)
Poul Anderson
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

This debut novel from SF superstar Anderson explains that the human intelligence is far more powerful than we have thus far seen. In fact, once we escape from the effects of a force field that is limiting our mental abilities, our intelligence takes a "quantum leap". The only mathematical content is a paragraph detailing the thoughts of a student who independently derives the idea of calculus while working on his algebra homework.

Contributed by penny smith

Actually there is more math content here. There is mention of solving systems of nonlinear pde in one's head. There is mention of Maxwell's equations and a book by Coddington.

More information about this work can be found at
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Works Similar to Brain Wave
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Tau Zero by Poul Anderson
  2. Security by Poul Anderson
  3. Round the Moon by Jules Verne
  4. The God Patent by Ransom Stephens
  5. Eve Times Four by Poul Anderson
  6. Habitus by James Flint
  7. The Hollow Man by Dan Simmons
  8. Star, Bright by Mark Clifton
  9. Ratner's Star by Don DeLillo
  10. Children of Dune by Frank Herbert
Ratings for Brain Wave:
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:
1/5 (2 votes)
Literary Quality:
3.5/5 (2 votes)

GenreScience Fiction,
MotifGenius, Prodigies, Math Education,

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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)