a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
The author has used - as in some of his other stories like "The problem of Morley's Emission" - a story format to lay out some of his philosophical speculations, in this instance about the nature of spacetime. The first person narrator, under opium-induced haze, is visited upon by a knight on a chess board. Evidently, it has arrived in a space-ship from a "locational-transitional" space. The ensuing conversation ranges over a few theories the author has about other types of possible spaces of existence. Einstein's field equation of General Relativity makes an appearance in tensor form. There is a minor discussion about the abstraction of numbers and a cursory paragraph about Cantor, transfinite numbers and transfinite spaces. Finally, the knight leaves and the opium wears off. A fairly nicely written fantasy piece, though at places it feels quite hurried or not sufficiently fleshed out.
Originally published as New Worlds Quarterly 4, ed. Michael Moorcock, London: Sphere 1972 and recently reprinted in The Knights of the Limit.
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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)