As one might guess from the title of the literary journal in which it was published ("Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens #4"), this story is a bit strange. According to the author, it is absurdist and contains `concrete math'. In the story, 888 (the integer) is good friends with Gengis Khan and helps him find a planet to conquer. He does this using Gematria and by offering him integers with interesting properties (being prime or having the sum of their digits as a factor) that also look pretty when their digits are displayed as a graphic in a grid. (I'm guessing that these numbers may actually have the claimed properties, and that this is what Earls means by `concrete math', but I did not check.)
Anyway, read this story to find out why it is not possible to do any (correct) computations with the number 888. |