a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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What Happened at Cambridge IV (1990)
David Langford
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Contributed by Vijay Fafat

This is another BLIT story by David Langford; this time, a brilliant mathematician working on a neuro-mathematical model of the brain finds a type of visual input that doesn't just slow it down but causes a cascade failure, leading to death. In essence, "a key to unthinkable images. Computer op-art that takes advantage of the flaws which mathematics says the mind must have. A pattern which compels attention, perhaps a pattern from which you couldn't easily look away. Runes of power." A co-worker, who is homosexually attracted to the mathematician (with explicit reminder of Turing's supposed sexual orientation) ends up killing him with such a pattern. Standard references to Godel and Turing are thrown in without many details. I found it to be a very half-hearted attempt at a repeat of "BLIT".

Appeared in Digital Dreams edited by David V. Barrett (NEL 1990).

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Works Similar to What Happened at Cambridge IV
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. BLIT by David Langford
  2. A Killer Theorem by Colin Adams
  3. The Face of the Waters by Robert Silverberg
  4. The Riddle of the Universe & Its Solution by Christopher Cherniak
  5. Oracle by Greg Egan
  6. The Logic Pool by Stephen Baxter
  7. Conservation of Probability by Brook West
  8. The Devious Weapon by M. C. Pease
  9. Probability Pipeline by Rudy Rucker / Marc Laidlaw
  10. Puzzles from Other Worlds by Martin Gardner
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GenreScience Fiction,
MotifGödel, Turing,
TopicLogic/Set 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)