a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

Home All New Browse Search About

Ibn Hakkan al-Bokhari, Dead in his Labyrinth (1951)
Jorge Luis Borges
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

Contributed by Alejandro Satz

Two friends, a poet and a mathematician (who is described as the author of a study on "the theorem which Fermat did not write in the margin of a page of Diophantus") arrive at an abandoned house in the poet's hometown. The poet explains that the house is a labyrinth and that his owner was killed in it many years ago. He tells his friend the story of the man and his death, which remains a mystery. The mathematician after a couple of days of thought meets his friend again and explains to him the correct solution. Passing references are made to set theory and the description of a straight line as the arc of an infinite circle, although neither figures prominently in the plot.

More information about this work can be found at
(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.)

Works Similar to Ibn Hakkan al-Bokhari, Dead in his Labyrinth
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Three Plates on the Table [Tres platos en la mesa] by José María Gironella
  2. Percentage Player by Leslie Charteris
  3. Death and the Compass (La Muerte y La Brujula) by Jorge Luis Borges
  4. The Square Cube Law by Fletcher Pratt
  5. Mathematical Doom by Paul Ernst
  6. The Zero Clue by Rex Stout
  7. The Symbolic Logic of Murder by John Reese
  8. Dalrymple’s Equation by Paul Fairman
  9. The Use of Geometry in the Modern Novel by Norman Clarke
  10. The Locked House of Pythagoras [P. no Misshitsu] by Soji Shimada
Ratings for Ibn Hakkan al-Bokhari, Dead in his Labyrinth:
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.


MediumShort Stories,

Home All New Browse Search About

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)