a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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The Book of Irrational Numbers (1999)
Michael Marshall Smith

Contributed by Craig Bauer

The protagonist of this short story views everything through the filter of numerology. His journal entries detail his considerations of digital roots, perfect numbers, irrational numbers, and even Wilson's Theorem (first appearance in fiction?) among other mathematical topics. However, the reader soon learns that his greatest problem is psychological and it isn't a problem for him alone…

There are some mathematical errors in the story, but I got a kick out the author even making the attempt!

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Works Similar to The Book of Irrational Numbers
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Midnighters (Series) by Scott Westerfield
  2. Herr Doctor's Wondrous Smile by Vladimir Tasic
  3. The Gimatria of Pi by Lavie Tidhar
  4. Prime by Steve Erickson
  5. Special Meal by Josh Malerman
  6. Grigori’s Solution by Isobelle Carmody
  7. Unknown Things by Reginald Bretnor
  8. Locker 49, or the Volunteers by David Rogers
  9. Danny’s Inferno by Albert Cowdrey
  10. Solid Geometry by Ian McEwan
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TopicAlgebra/Arithmetic/Number Theory,
MediumShort Stories,

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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)