a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
|Nice Girl with Five Husbands (1951) ||Fritz Leiber |
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction
by the same author)
"William E. Emba"|
A man is unwittingly swept by a time wind 100 years
into the future. He and the people he meets in the
future--including the nice girl of the title--talk
at cross purposes, but no one realizes it.
The children of the future mostly scare him, since
they are so evidently brilliant. One child does not
scare him, though, because she says dumb things like
"one plus one equals ten" and chants silly child's
nonsense syllables while skipping rope.
Eventually, he is swept back to his point of origin.
Over time, he reads lots of popular science, but never
connects the newfangled computer's reliance on binary
arithmetic 1+1=10 with the girl of the future. And
the narrator comments that he never notices that the
generalized Einstein equations (given explicitly in
the story) if pronounced directly, read the same as
the girl's nonsense chant.
|(Note: This is just one work of
mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more
works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)|
Exciting News: The total number of works of mathematical fiction listed in this database recently reached a milestone. The 1,500th entry is The Man of Forty Crowns by Voltaire. Thanks to Vijay Fafat for writing the summary of that work (and so many others). I am also grateful to everyone who has contributed to this website. Heck, I'm grateful to everyone who visited the site. Thank you!
(Maintained by Alex Kasman,
College of Charleston)