a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Journey into Geometries (1997)
Marta Sved

Contributed by Vijay Fafat

It is styled after a frequently-used device: "Alice in X", where X can be any kind of space which you wish to explain to the gentle reader. In this instance, Alice, along with Lewis Carroll and a Doctor WhatIf, gets to explore X=hyperbolic geometries. Poincare's disk is explained in great detail, along with lots of examples and exercises. Characters from "Wonderland" and "Looking Glass" make appearances at various places. Not a book you can read as a novel but fiction is fused completely with the mathematics (except for chapter-end problems). And the author does not waste much time diving into deep geometry so it is not an easy read. Uses a lot of puns, as is to be expected, some good and some groan-worthy. She's thrown in a few poems / limericks / doggerels as well along the way. The foreword to the book compares it directly to Synge's "Kandelman's Krim". The book is an enormous amount of fun if you like geometry. Heartily recommend it to anyone who loves mathematical toys in the abstract (though nothing abstract about geometry on a sphere or on a horse's back...)

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Works Similar to Journey into Geometries
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Flatterland: like Flatland, only more so by Ian Stewart
  2. Lost in the Math Museum by Colin Adams
  3. Gulliver's Posthumous Travels to Riemann's Land and Lobachevskia by William Pepperell Montague
  4. Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin Abbott Abbott
  5. A Foundation in Wisdom by Robert Loyd Watson
  6. The Mathematician's Nightmare: The Vision of Professor Squarepunt by Bertrand Russell
  7. Night of the Eerie Equations by Robert Black
  8. Harvey Plotter and the Circle of Irrationality by Nathan Carter / Dan Kalman
  9. Into Thin Air by Colin Adams
  10. Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett
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GenreHumorous, Fantasy, Didactic,
TopicGeometry/Topology/Trigonometry, Real Mathematics,

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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)