MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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30 Most Recently Added/Modified Entries

(Note: This is not the entire list of works of Mathematical Fiction. To see the entire list, click here.)
Dr. No: A Novel (2022)
Percival Everett
Wala Kitu is a professor of mathematics at Brown University who specializes in nothing. (No, it is not that he doesn't have a specialty. He is an expert in the very concept of nothingness.) His best... (more)
Last Changed: 2023-01-28 14:27:56
A Calculated Man (2022)
Paul Tobin (writer) / Alberto Alburquerque (artist)
An accountant for the mob, now in witness protection, must defend himself from his former employers, but with the power of math on his side he is quite capable of killing those who have been sent to eliminate... (more)
Last Changed: 2023-01-11 15:07:22
Souls in the Great Machine (1999)
Sean McMullen
A thousand years in our future, civilization on Earth has been restarted from scratch following a combination of global warming, nuclear winter, and a mysterious periodic phenomenon known as "the Call".... (more)
Last Changed: 2023-01-03 09:06:21
The Mentalist (Episode: 18-5-4) (2010)
Bruno Heller (writer) / Leonard Dick (writer) / Charles Beeson (director)
In this episode of the series about agents from the California Bureau of Investigation, an unemployed mathematician is murdered by someone wearing a clown suit. The victim, Noah Valiquette, was a... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-12-20 14:33:57
Mine the Primes (2005)
Julian Todd
In this SF short story, mathematicians work to discover new prime numbers which are used to power space ships. The concept of "mining" numbers probably seemed very "science fictiony" and perhaps even... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-12-11 21:50:05
i (2005)
Paul Evanby
A computer programmer meets a composer who is trying to incorporate complex numbers into musical theory: I nodded slowly, and pointed at the other screen. “What about that?” He pursed his lips.... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-12-11 21:32:16
Location, velocity, end point (2022)
Matt Tighe
A time-traveler tries to reach the right point in spacetime to save his young son from a horrible disease. However, the computations he needs to achieve this goal are frustrated by some analogue of Heisenberg's... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-12-09 16:32:21
The Singularities (2022)
John Banville
This ambitious work may be the capstone to the body of work by the critically acclaimed Irish novelist, John Banville. The closing words suggest that it is a finale to his career. And a clever plot conceit... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-11-18 22:06:46
Strike Your Heart (2017)
Amélie Nothomb
This French novel is primarily about jealousy and how it poisons relationships between women. However, one recurring minor character is a Fields medalist working in topology. Like many mathematicians... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-11-18 16:41:57
The Long Slow Orbits (1967)
H.H. Hollis
Tagline: Nice prison! It was a Klein bottle in orbit - easy to escape from, if you didn't mind turning inside out! A sensitively written, poignant vignette of mankind and society spread out... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-11-16 20:01:43
The Universe Broke Down (1941)
Robert Arthur
Jeremiah Jupiter was an extremely rich, eccentric genius who built an antenna which could take some strange meteorite material called “magna” and amplify cosmic rays to disintegrate the magna, giving... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-11-09 12:14:48
Pure Math (1992)
John Timson
A mildly funny and fairly predictable time travel story involving a stand-alone time loop created by information sent back in time. Jacob Appel is a “Nobel Laureate and the man acknowledged by nearly... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-11-08 08:23:39
Mathe-Matti (2022)
Anuradha Mahasinghe
A collection of mathematical fiction short stories published in the country of Sri Lanka by Sayura Books. Unfortunately, I do not read Sinhalese and so have not been able to enjoy it myself, but the author... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-10-25 16:54:34
A Map for the Missing (2022)
Belinda Huijuan Tang
Tang Yitian, a Chinese-American math professor who grew up in China shortly after the revolution, undertakes a journey to find his estranged father. Anti-intellectualism always made it hard for Yitian... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-10-18 14:13:25
Eversion (2022)
Alastair Reynolds
One supporting character in this science fiction novel is a young mathematician whose solution to a problem involving sphere eversion is essential to the success of the mission. But, as it is not clear... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-10-17 10:00:52
Arithmetic Town / Arithmetic (1996)
Todd McEwen
This novel puts you into the stream of consciousness of Joe Lake, a boy growing up in California in the 1950s. For him, arithmetic represents all that is wrong with his world. It is difficult, ugly,... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-10-04 09:43:17
Special Meal (2021)
Josh Malerman
This story about a young girl enjoying her favorite meal with her family takes place in a dystopian society where knowledge of math is illegal. In fact, her brother recently reported a friend of his to... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-09-25 22:05:16
The Second Moon (1939)
Russell R. Winterbotham
This is one wreckage of a story; bad pulp fiction written way back when. It does have one or two decent points for an alert reader, like the observation that the presence of complex numbers in physical... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-09-15 13:53:30
Probabilitea (2019)
John Chu
When it said at the beginning of this story that "Katie’s father...is a physical manifestation of Order and Chaos," I presumed at first it meant that metaphorically. In fact, it means that Katie's... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-09-12 16:43:32
The Rabbit Factor [Jäniskerroin] (2020)
Antti Tuomainen
After his anti-social tendencies get him fired from his job as an actuary, the mathematically obsessed Henri inherits his deceased brother's adventure park, along with his tremendous debt to a dangerous... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-09-08 21:38:18
Lost in the Math Museum (2022)
Colin Adams
Teenager Kallie, who doesn't particularly care for math, gets trapped in a math museum with her father and his friend Maria. They endure horrific dangers and meet the ghosts of famous mathematicians (as... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-09-08 13:20:05
Parade's End (1924)
Ford Madox Ford
Although the British aristocracy, women's liberation, marital infidelity, and World War I are more important to this acclaimed novel, math arises a few times since the primary protagonist, Tietjens, is... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-08-28 11:23:44
Prost, der Faust-Tragödie (-n)ter Teil [Prost: the (-n)th Part of the Faust Tragedy] (1882)
Kurd Lasswitz
A poem written in German about a character named "Prost" who is stumped by a particularly difficult differential equation. He drinks a lot of beer (in keeping with his name, which is the German equivalent... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-08-16 14:00:56
iPhone SE (2022)
Weike Wang
Without being asked to do so, a Chinese-American woman's malfunctioning smartphone assistant begins teaching her about math, starting with the importance of the number zero and going up to solving systems... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-08-15 10:33:37
Going Out (2002)
Scarlett Thomas
A group of unusual friends go on a journey to Wales to meet with a healer who they hope can help each of them with their problems. The group consists of Luke (who is unable to go outside due to allergies... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-08-12 14:57:34
Perturbation - For Nature Computes On A Straight Line (In Seven Balancing Acts) (2022)
Vijay Fafat
A mathematical physicist tests the equations of her "Theory of Everything" (TOE) by simulating them on a computer. Due to the complexity of the actual TOE, the simulation utilizes numerical approximations... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-08-01 10:38:06
Squate (2022)
Tom Blackford
In this cute story, a thirteen year old girl becomes good friends with the square root of eight. From "Squate", she learns not only facts about math but also things about other people who are working... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-08-01 09:11:10
Randall and the River of Time (1950)
Cecil Scott Forester
Charles Randall meets two people who change his life while he is on leave from fighting in World War I: a patent lawyer for whom he designs an improved flare and the seductive wife of a fellow soldier.... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-07-27 14:19:32
The Sabre Squadron (1966)
Simon Raven
Daniel Mond, a British PhD candidate in mathematics, finds himself in mortal danger after traveling to Göttingen in the 1950s to analyze papers by the deceased German mathematician Dortmund. I had... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-07-19 11:32:53
Catch the Lightning [Lightning Strikes Vols. I-II] (1997)
Catherine Asaro
A 17 year-old girl from Los Angeles finds herself in a sexual/romantic relationship with a not-quite-human time-traveller in this book which continues the author's "Skolian saga". The story is actually... (more)
Last Changed: 2022-07-18 14:30:17

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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)