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The Exploration of Space (1972)
Barrington J. Bayley
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

Contributed by Vijay Fafat

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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Works Similar to The Exploration of Space
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Bees of Knowledge by Barrington J. Bayley
  2. Cantor's War by Christopher Anvil
  3. The Grand Wheel by Barrington J. Bayley
  4. The Four-Color Problem by Barrington J. Bayley
  5. White Light, or What is Cantor's Continuum Problem? by Rudy Rucker
  6. His Master's Voice by Stanislaw Lem
  7. The Number of the Beast by Robert A. Heinlein
  8. The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges
  9. Art Thou Mathematics? by Charles Mobbs
  10. The Infinite Assassin by Greg Egan
Ratings for The Exploration of Space:
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)

GenreScience Fiction,
MediumShort Stories,

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