MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Galactic Rapture (2000)
Tom Flynn
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On a future Earth whose major export to other planets is the Christian religion, mathematician Fram Galbior is a hero for his formula which allows the prediction of the appearance of ``Tuezi''. These otherwise indestructible death machines are only vulnerable for a short period of time, and so these formulas and his equilibrational calculus are literally life savers.

But, mathematics is not really the central concern of the book, it is religion. Galbior also develops a (supposed) formula for predicting the appearance of Jesus Christ in material form. (He is supposed to appear once on each inhabited planet.) Consequently, he also becomes useful to the church as he is able to tell the real messiahs from the bogus ones.

As one might guess from knowing either the author (an editor of the Skeptical Inquirer) or the publisher (Prometheus Books), this book does not present a particularly positive image of religion. Rather, it uses the science fiction medium as a means to critically explore religion. It therefore is unlikely to appeal to the Fundamentalist demographic. But, among those who are inclined in this direction, it receives rave reviews both as a work of fiction and as a philosophical treatise.

I have not yet had a chance to read it myself, but hope to get a chance to do so someday. If you've read it and can comment (especially on the mathematical aspects) before I do, please use the links below to send me some more information.

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(Note: This is just one work of mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)

Works Similar to Galactic Rapture
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Bellwether by Connie Willis
  2. La formule: (A story of fourth dimension) by Jean Ray
  3. Catch the Lightning [Lightning Strikes Vols. I-II] by Catherine Asaro
  4. Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang
  5. Doctor Who: The Turing Test by Paul Leonard
  6. Solenoid by Mircea Cartarescu
  7. The God Patent by Ransom Stephens
  8. El Troiacord by Miquel de Palol
  9. From the Earth to the Moon [De la Terre à la Lune, trajet direct en 97 heures 20 minutes] by Jules Verne
  10. The Gimatria of Pi by Lavie Tidhar
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Categories:
GenreScience Fiction,
MotifFuture Prediction through Math, Religion,
Topic
MediumNovels,

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Exciting News: The total number of works of mathematical fiction listed in this database recently reached a milestone. The 1,500th entry is The Man of Forty Crowns by Voltaire. Thanks to Vijay Fafat for writing the summary of that work (and so many others). I am also grateful to everyone who has contributed to this website. Heck, I'm grateful to everyone who visited the site. Thank you!

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)