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. Axiom of Dreams by Arula Ratnakar
  4. The Face of the Waters by Robert Silverberg
  5. The Riddle of the Universe & Its Solution by Christopher Cherniak
  6. Symposium by R.A. Lafferty
  7. Oracle by Greg Egan
  8. The Logic Pool by Stephen Baxter
  9. Conservation of Probability by Brook West
  10. The Devious Weapon by M. C. Pease
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GenreScience Fiction,
MotifKurt Gödel, Alan Turing,
TopicLogic/Set Theory,
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)