MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Lord Darcy (1966)
Randall Garrett
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The stories in this collection of fantastical murder mysteries take place in an alternate universe where magic rather than science has become the primary human tool for manipulating the world. Frequent mention is made of the mathematics underlying it -- as if mathematics was "pure" magic that only a few people can understand and actually performing magic is a form of "applied math". Most of the comments are devoid of any actual meaning -- just "mumbo jumbo" -- but the discussion of the significance of the number 5 is interesting because it seems to be based on the longheld belief that there are no crystals with 5-fold symmetry. However, the discovery of the "Penrose Tiling" and "quasicrystals" has forced us to modify this belief!

The collection contains the stories previously serialized as "Too Many Magicians" which was also separately released as a novel.

More information about this work can be found at www.amazon.com.
(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 Lord Darcy
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Mathe-Matti by Anuradha Mahasinghe
  2. Number Stories: Learning Arithmetic Through the Adventures of Ralph and His Schoolmates by Alhambra G. Deming
  3. Do Androids Dream of Symmetric Sheaves?: And Other Mathematically Bent Stories by Colin Adams
  4. Imaginary Numbers : An Anthology of Marvelous Mathematical Stories, Diversions, Poems, and Musings by William Frucht (editor)
  5. Number Stories of Long Ago by David Eugene Smith
  6. Sine of the Magus [aka The Magicians] by James Gunn
  7. Let's Consider Two Spherical Chickens by Tommaso Bolognesi
  8. The Parrot's Theorem by Denis Guedj
  9. Schaurige Mathematik by Alexander Mehlmann
  10. Prime Suspect: The Anatomy of Integers and Permutations by Andrew Granville / Jennifer Granville / Robert J. Lewis (Illustrator)
Ratings for Lord Darcy:
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:
2/5 (1 votes)
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Literary Quality:
3/5 (1 votes)
..

Categories:
GenreMystery, Fantasy,
Motif
Topic
MediumShort Stories, Collection,

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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)