a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Echoes from the Past (2006)
Edward Michel-Bird

A young mathematics professor becomes involved in a mystery and a love affair when the identity of his true biological father is called into question. No mathematical ideas or results are discussed in detail. (A few times we hear mention of the protagonist's research, but not enough for us to even figure out what field he is in.) But, the idea that mathematicians like nice, clean answers to problems and are less comfortable with messy reality is a character trait which helps to shape the plot:

(quoted from Echoes from the Past)

"It's party my fault, too, my weakness. I've never been able to resist a challenge, or a situation that begs for a solution. My passion for pure mathematics," he whispered, "my relentless research, demanded that no problem must ever be left unsolved. I have always felt it was my duty to push on to the bitter end. Only then did I feel satisfied."

For the first time he realized that the challenge Mr. Swanson had handed him -- much like the dream that Annabelle inspired -- did not lend itself to neat and tidy formulas.

"This is life, not math," he told himself. "I shall have to learn to handle such matters in a different way."

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Works Similar to Echoes from the Past
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Songs My Mother Never Taught Me by Selçuk Altun
  2. Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffrey Archer
  3. 7 Steps to Midnight by Richard Matheson
  4. Orpheus Lost: A Novel by Janette Turner Hospital
  5. The Crimson Cipher by Susan Page Davis
  6. The Visiting Professor by Robert Littell
  7. The Last Equation of Isaac Severy by Nova Jacobs
  8. Fermat's Room (La Habitacion de Fermat) by Luis Piedrahita / Rodrigo Sopeña
  9. Miscalculations by Elizabeth Mansfield
  10. Hickory Dickory Shock! The Tale of Techies by Sundip Gorai
Ratings for Echoes from the Past:
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)
Literary Quality:
3/5 (1 votes)

GenreMystery, Adventure/Espionage,
MotifAcademia, Romance,

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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)