a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Statistician's Day (1970)
James Blish
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

Contributed by "William E. Emba"

An aging novelist and Nobel Prize winner gives what he knows is his last interview. But rather than take questions, he has rather pointed ones of his own, based on his twenty years of statistical analyses of the obituary pages. He claims to have identified the real way that zero population growth has been achieved (using plausible sounding statistical terminology), right down to predicting the day of his own death (using plausible sounding Malthusian economics and an implausible sounding reference to projective geometry).

Originally appeared in Anthony Cheetham (ed) SCIENCE AGAINST MAN.

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Works Similar to Statistician's Day
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Conservation of Probability by Brook West
  2. Drunkard's Walk by Frederik Pohl
  3. The Last Starship from Earth by John Boyd
  4. Solar Lottery by Philip K. Dick
  5. We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
  6. The Crazy Mathematician by Ralph Sylvester Underwood
  7. The Seventh Stair by Frank Brandon
  8. Paint ‘Em Green by Burt Filer
  9. The Long Slow Orbits by H.H. Hollis
  10. On the Average by Frank Bryning
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GenreScience Fiction,
MotifFuture Prediction through Math,
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)