a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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The Star Dummy (1952)
Anthony Boucher

Contributed by Gerry Myerson

I learned duodecimal (and the whole concept of number bases) from "The Star Dummy," by Boucher, in Conklin's Omnibus of Science Fiction. The teddybear-shaped six- fingered alien was trying to communicate with the koalas in the zoo until an open-minded human showed up and the two traded written numbers.

Originally published in Fantastic in 1952.

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Works Similar to The Star Dummy
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Report from the Ambassador to Cida-2 by Clifton Cunningham
  2. In the River by Justin Stanchfield
  3. The Heroic Adventures of Hercules Amsterdam by Melissa Glenn Haber
  4. Project Flatty by Irving Cox Jr.
  5. Clockwork by Leslie Bigelow
  6. The Crazy Mathematician by Ralph Sylvester Underwood
  7. Problem in Geometry by T.P. Caravan
  8. The Moebius Room by Robert Donald Locke
  9. Paint ‘Em Green by Burt Filer
  10. Love and a Triangle by Stanley Waterloo
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GenreScience Fiction,
TopicAlgebra/Arithmetic/Number Theory,
MediumShort Stories,

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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)