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.

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 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. The Time Ships by Stephen Baxter
  7. Light by M. John Harrison
  8. Bellwether by Connie Willis
  9. From the Earth to the Moon [De la Terre à la Lune, trajet direct en 97 heures 20 minutes] by Jules Verne
  10. La formule: (A story of fourth dimension) by Jean Ray
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GenreScience Fiction,
TopicMathematical Physics,

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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)