a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Primary Inversion (1996)
Catherine Asaro
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

In this first book in her "Skolian Saga" series, Asaro explains how faster-than-light speeds are attainable by using imaginary numbers, and hence frequent mentions of "imaginary space" occur throughout the book. In fact, although she is not the first person to play with the consequences of allowing complex values in general relativity, Asaro did publish an article in the American Journal of Physics that explains in complete detail how this "inversion" would work if complex valued speeds were available to us.

An essay by Asaro about her use of mathematics in fiction is posted here and also appears in the anthology Aurora in Four Voices.

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Works Similar to Primary Inversion
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Spherical Harmonic by Catherine Asaro
  2. Private i by S. R. Algernon
  3. The Cube Root of Conquest by Rog Phillips
  4. Catch the Lightning [Lightning Strikes Vols. I-II] by Catherine Asaro
  5. Aurora in Four Voices by Catherine Asaro
  6. Bellwether by Connie Willis
  7. From the Earth to the Moon [De la Terre à la Lune, trajet direct en 97 heures 20 minutes] by Jules Verne
  8. La formule: (A story of fourth dimension) by Jean Ray
  9. Snow by Geoffrey A. Landis
  10. Diamond Dogs by Alastair Reynolds
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GenreScience Fiction,
TopicMathematical Physics,

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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)