MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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The Cyberiad (1967)
Stanislaw Lem
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Contributed by Liam Bulkley

I was perusing your site and I happened to think of a great addition to your list. It's by Polish philosopher Stanislaw Lem and called "The Cyberiad". It's about the adventures of two super "inventors" who basically build impossible machines(like a "Turing Machine" that breaks Godel's law; another that breaks the Second Law of Thermodynamics[or perhaps it's the Third- I tend to get them confused] by extracting information from a HIGHLY entropic system, etc.). Lem seems to have an excellent grasp of the material and weaves very enjoyable stories.

Contributed by "William E. Emba"

THE CYBERIAD is not a novel, but a collection of short stories starring the twin constructors Trurl and Klapaucius. The story "The First Sally, or Trurl's Electronic Bard" includes an explicitly mathematical poem. "The Third Sally, or the Dragons of Probability" involves a gadget to generate improbability.

Contributed by Anonymous

A true joy for anyone who has taken more than a few math classes.

Contributed by Lapo Fanciullo

A really enjoyable book and an intelligent one, too. By the way, in one of the stories there's an exhilarating scene in which the protagonists make calculations - with pen and paper - to be certain their invention will force the king they're working for to pay them (I don't know the title, but it's a story in which a hunting-fond king asks them to invent a challenging pray): perhaps the book should be inserted in the "Future prediction through maths" motif.

Contributed by cephalopoid

From a demon cursed to enumerate all possible true statements to the (im-)probability of dragons, from the pursuit of happiness to very practical solutions to arms races, this collection of robot fables in space has got you covered. It's typical Lem where concepts and ideas taken to the absurdly surreal level still teach useful lessons about us, silly humans.

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Works Similar to The Cyberiad
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Perelman's Song by Tina Chang
  2. Bill, the Galactic Hero by Harry Harrison
  3. His Master's Voice by Stanislaw Lem
  4. Bellwether by Connie Willis
  5. The Investigation by Stanislaw Lem
  6. Ms Fnd in a Lbry by Hal Draper
  7. The Mathenauts by Norman Kagan
  8. Mathematicians in Love by Rudy Rucker
  9. Doctor Who: The Turing Test by Paul Leonard
  10. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Ratings for The Cyberiad:
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:
2.37/5 (8 votes)
..
Literary Quality:
4.5/5 (8 votes)
..

Categories:
GenreHumorous, Science Fiction,
MotifFuture Prediction through Math,
TopicLogic/Set Theory,
MediumNovels,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)