a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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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.

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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. Percentage Player by Leslie Charteris
  2. Death and the Compass (La Muerte y La Brujula) by Jorge Luis Borges
  3. The Square Cube Law by Fletcher Pratt
  4. Mathematical Doom by Paul Ernst
  5. The Zero Clue by Rex Stout
  6. The Symbolic Logic of Murder by John Reese
  7. Dalrymple’s Equation by Paul Fairman
  8. The Use of Geometry in the Modern Novel by Norman Clarke
  9. The Locked House of Pythagoras [P. no Misshitsu] by Soji Shimada
  10. The Problem of Cell 13 by Jacques Futrelle
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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)