a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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The Integral: A Horror Story (2009)
Colin Adams
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

This story, which he claims is an attempt to emulate Stephen King, is different from many of Adams' others. This may explain why it was published for the first time in his 2009 collections Riot at the Calc Exam... rather than in his usual periodicals. In it, the will of a recently deceased math teacher invites two people (a woman who developed a serious fear of math in his class and the math nerd who was the teacher's pet) to spend the night in his house in order to receive some of his impressive estate. Things turn both supernatural and scary when they begin to be tortured and threatened by the now un-dead teacher who wishes to teach them one final lesson. The story is not too serious; Adams tries to make the same jokes he usually does in his more humorous writings, but somehow it comes across as a bit less funny in this context. My main complaint about it, however, is that the heroine's sudden mathematical skills seem to come out of nowhere. Of course, I understand the implication that her innate mathematical skills were merely suppressed by this bad teacher, but it still seemed unrealistic. (The dead teacher coming back to haunt them, on the other hand, is completely believable!)

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Works Similar to The Integral: A Horror Story
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Lost in the Math Museum by Colin Adams
  2. I Had to Call In a Mathematician by Erik Talvila
  3. Cube by Vincenzo Natali (Director)
  4. Final Exam by Robert Dawson
  5. Zombies and Calculus by Colin Adams
  6. Fermat's Room (La Habitacion de Fermat) by Luis Piedrahita / Rodrigo Sopeña
  7. Danny’s Inferno by Albert Cowdrey
  8. The Brink of Infinity by Stanley G. Weinbaum
  9. Do Androids Dream of Symmetric Sheaves?: And Other Mathematically Bent Stories by Colin Adams
  10. Rumpled Stiltskin by Colin Adams
Ratings for The Integral: A Horror Story:
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:
5/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
3/5 (1 votes)

GenreHumorous, Horror,
MotifEvil mathematicians, Anti-social Mathematicians, Cool/Heroic Mathematicians, Female Mathematicians, Math Education,
TopicAnalysis/Calculus/Differential, Real Mathematics,
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)