a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
|This work of fiction is not strictly narrative. It is hard to say what is happening since the characters live in the world of "the matrix". Not like the Wachowski Bros.'s epic trilogy of films (though the allusion is both intentional and explicit). No, the characters in this story live in the world of linear algebra: matrices, eigenvalues, Cramer's Rule, determinants. I like the way the author explains that they are governed by rules like the Cayley-Hamilton theorem (that a matrix is a root of its own characteristic polynomial) without understanding them the way that we in our world obey the law of gravity without understanding it.
But, the characters in the story cannot do things the way we do. That's why, for instance, they don't say things but rather "say" things (the story includes the quotes around the verb).
It is available in the collection entitled 0.1361015212836455566789110512013615... along with the story Borzag and the Numerical Apocalypse. Rogers' brief biography at the end of the book says that he is a writer...but then the word "writer" is crossed out and replaced with "pen and paper owner". It is true that this story alone does not make Rogers a conventional fiction writer, but it will make interesting and entertaining reading for anyone who has a basic familiarity with linear algebra and a taste for bizarre writing.
|More information about this work can be found at .|
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(Maintained by Alex Kasman,
College of Charleston)