a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Twenty-seven Uses for Imaginary Numbers (2009)
Buzz Mauro
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

A teenage boy's discovery of the joys of Euler's formula coincides with the awakening of his homosexual desires. The author's mathematical understanding is very good, and the story reminded me of young Alan Turing's crush on his schoolmate in Breaking the Code, though a bit less innocent.

The author is an actor and acting teacher from Washington DC who wrote to tell me that his "MFA thesis was called If Then and it consisted entirely of math stories."

This story was published in the Barcelona Review, an electronic literary journal whose editors say they like to publish "good, powerful, potent stuff that immediately commands attention, shows stylistic and imaginative distinction, and is literarily sound."

More information about this work can be found at
(Note: This is just one work of mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)

Works Similar to Twenty-seven Uses for Imaginary Numbers
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Book of Getting Even by Benjamin Taylor
  2. Batorsag and Szerelem [a.k.a. Beautiful Ohio] by Ethan Canin
  3. Fractions by Buzz Mauro
  4. The Decimal People by Zachary Shiffman
  5. The Indian Clerk by David Leavitt
  6. Breaking the Code by Hugh Whitemore (playwright)
  7. Reading by Numbers by Aidan Doyle
  8. Incomplete Proofs by John Chu
  9. Invisibly Breathing by Eileen Merriman
  10. Gifted: A Novel by Nikita Lalwani
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MotifMath as Beautiful/Exciting/Useful, Romance,
TopicReal Mathematics,
MediumShort Stories, Available Free Online,

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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)