
The 351 Books of Irma Arcuri (2008) 
 David Bajo 

Philip is a mathematician who works in the financial industry, a quant. We also meet his exwife, Rebecca, who is a math professor. But, the main character in this novel is a woman who we only meet in... (more) 


According to the Law (1996) 
 Solvej Balle 

Four interconnected stories are told which wrap around onto themselves like a M¨bius strip. But, it is not only the structure of the story that is mathematical. In the first we meet a biochemist... (more) 


The Ah of Life (2010) 
 Banks Helfrich (Writer and Director) 

At the beginning of this film we see various stages in the life of Nigel. We see him as a high school student about to fail math due to lack of interest in the subject. We see him as an old man who enjoys... (more) 


Albert's Bridge (1967) 
 Tom Stoppard 

A radio play about a philosophy graduate student who gets a job painting the Clufton Bay Bridge. It takes him and three other workers exactly two years to paint the entire bridge, at which time they must... (more) 


Antonia's Line (1995) 
 Marleen Gorris 

About three or more generations of
strong and selfsufficient women who live on a farm and the people
around them. Antonia's granddaughter is a genius, namely a
mathematician and a musician. But she... (more) 


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) 


The Brink of Infinity (1936) 
 Stanley G. Weinbaum 

A
mathematics professor is kidnapped by a madman with a grudge against
mathematicians, who threatens dire consequences unless the prof can
solve a math riddle he has concocted: by asking ten questions,... (more) 


Cantor's War (1974) 
 Christopher Anvil 

In my opinion, this story is slanderous and the author should be ashamed.
The plot involves a science fiction scenario in which the human military is battling aliens in "tau space". Whenever we send... (more) 


Chronicles of a Comer (1972) 
 K.M O'Donnell (aka Barry N. Malzberg) 

A short story about a statistician who believes in the
second coming of Christ and looks for it in the statistical
correlations between the events and people's reactions to
those events (e.g. "14%... (more) 


The Cold Equations (1954) 
 Tom Godwin 

This classic science fiction story is a favorite of English teachers
because, even after all of these years, it has the ability to get the
attention of and provoke discussion amongst otherwise apathetic... (more) 


Constans (The Constant Factor) (1980) 
 Krzysztof Zanussi 

In this film Witold, a Polish man who believes that he can explain all of life's mysteries and solve all of life's problems with mathematics, learns otherwise. (more) 


Coyote Moon (2003) 
 John A. Miller 

Well, this book is hard to describe! It's certainly different and not easily categorizable. It is a novel that addresses the question "What if a young, nerdy, MIT mathematics professor died of cancer... (more) 


Dark of the Moon (1995) 
 John Dickson Carr 

The crime novel "Dark of the Moon" by John Dickson Carr has as one of its characters a female "mathematician", Camilla Bruce. (She is called a mathematician and is enthusiastic about the subject but... (more) 


Description of a New World, Called The Blazing World (1666) 
 Margaret Cavendish 

Although there is only a short discussion of mathematics, I had to include it because it is just too interesting that this is not only one of the oldest sciencefiction stories but moreover the fact that... (more) 


A Desirable Middle (2016) 
 Susan Sechrist 

In this story which appeared in the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, a recently divorced woman contemplates her own tastes in things and seems especially concerned with the aspect ratios of the objects... (more) 


Domaine [Domain] (2009) 
 Patric Chiha (screenplay and director) 

This subtle, slow and depressing French film concerns the relationship between a homosexual teenager and his alcoholic aunt. She is a math professor whose research is connected to Gödel's Theorem, and... (more) 


Erasmus with Freckles [aka Dear Brigitte] (1963) 
 John Haase 

The novel Erasmus with Freckles (1963) about a college English professor who hates math and science whose son is a math prodigy, was adapted into the film Dear Brigitte (1965) and rereleased as a novel... (more) 


Folk Music Festivals
and Mathematics
Conferences (2015) 
 Erik Talvila 

The narrator in this work of mathematical fiction attends both a music festival and a math research conference. This allows the author, a math professor at the University of the Fraser Valley, to compare... (more) 


Geometric Regional Novel (1969) 
 Gert Jonke 

An odd but charming book which describes a dreamy, strange, very static, grey world nestled in some corner of thought. In measured, clipped tones, the narrator describes the mathematically precise contours... (more) 


The Geometry of Love (1966) 
 John Cheever 

An engineer is inspired by a passing truck from "Euclid's Dry Cleaning" to apply geometric principles to his own marital problems. He finds that interpreting his family as a triangle has the advantage... (more) 


Good Will Hunting (1997) 
 Gus Van Sant (director) / Matt Damon (Screenplay) 

A young janitor at MIT solves a (supposedly) difficult problem left on
a black board by a Fields medalist. This successful film did make
many more people aware of the existence of the Fields medal.... (more) 


Hard Times (1853) 
 Charles Dickens 

A suggestion for a novel to be added to your website Mathematical Fiction:
In Charles Dickens's "Hard Times", poor schoolgirl Sissy Jupe is struggling in an educational system
that is obsessed... (more) 


Homage (1995) 
 Ross Kagan Marks (director) / Mark Medoff (screenplay) 

This film (and the 1994 play "The Homage that Follows" on which it was based) explores the mind of a murderer, who in this case happens to be a man with a Ph.D. in mathematics. He turns down a position... (more) 


Infinite Sum (2016) 
 Sheila Deeth 

Although trained as a mathematician and happily married, Sylvia has psychological issues that are interfering with her life. The main focus of this novel is on her interactions with her therapist in which... (more) 


Kazohinia [A Voyage to Kazohinia] (1941) 
 Sándor Szathmári 

This novel features a Gulliverlike character (coincidentally named "Gulliver") who washes ashore in a strange land after a shipwreck. He first stays with the extremely logical Hins, who are always sensible... (more) 


Kim Possible (Episode: Mathter and Fervent) (2007) 
 Jim Peronto (script) 

This episode of the Disney animated TV series "Kim Possible" is a comic book parody featuring a mathematical villain.
As an English assignment, Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable have to write a paper... (more) 


Leaning Towards Infinity (1996) 
 Sue Woolfe 

Tells the story of an Australian woman who wins a contest for the best
mathematical theory from an amateur mathematician. The prize is a trip to
a math conference in Athens. The theory proposed by... (more) 


The Madness of Crowds (2021) 
 Louise Penny 

In Penny's 17th murder mystery featuring detective Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of Sûreté du Québec, a statistician with a controversial political philosophy speaks at the local university, resulting... (more) 


Math Takes a Holiday (2001) 
 Paul Di Filippo 

Saint Hubert and Saint Barbara, the two patron saints of mathematics,
pay a visit to a devout Catholic mathematics professor who has been
praying for a mathematical miracle to silence his mockers.... (more) 


A Matter of Geometry (1915) 
 Ared White 

Pythagoras Theorem (or some algebraic operations like squareroots or mental arithmetic) is a device used sometimes to stand in for mathematical erudition, intellectual thinking and the like. In “A... (more) 


Mefisto: A Novel (1986) 
 John Banville 

Although the mathematics is only discussed in this novel in the vaguest terms, it is of the greatest importance to the book. Gabriel Swan, the main character/narrator is so focused on numbers and equations... (more) 


The Mouse and his Child (1967) 
 Russell Hoban 

Not really a kids book (too violent and depressing) nor an adult book
(about a toy mouse that goes on an adventure, with illustrations) this
is nonetheless an interesting allegory for those so inclined.... (more) 


MultiColored Dome (1987) 
 Martin Gardner 

A lighthearted, short story about a shy but precocious Math student working on symbolic logic (“he had read “Principia Mathematica” when he was in high school, and understood it,... (more) 


My Random Friend (1977) 
 Larry Eisenberg 

Gene Berry was a statistical anomaly. A foster child who had changed four families, he was “goddamned bright”, “a treasuretrove of disparate facts” and blessed with “extraordinary reasoning... (more) 


Old Fillikin (1982) 
 Joan Aiken 

A farm boy who hates his math class seemingly calls upon his grandmother's "familiar" to get revenge on his teacher.
This reads like an old fashioned ghost story, but it is the kind where you can imagine... (more) 


Porter Piper (1849) 
 Anonymous 

A very light, very badly stereotyped, twodimensional story about one Porter Piper. He was a born genius, one destined to be a topclass mathematician. So much so that when he was delivered by his mother,... (more) 


The Purloined Letter (1844) 
 Edgar Allan Poe 

"This is the third and last C. Auguste Dupin mystery. The
Prefect of Paris police explains a very delicate situation
to Dupin, involving a royal letter whose possession grants
its bearer great... (more) 


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) 


Rithmatic (2015) 
 B.J. Novak 

A school principal secretly proposes to his students that they all just agree not to bother with math in school:
“Now do I wish you all knew math? Were great at math? Were fing mathematicians?... (more) 


Sad Strains of a Gay Waltz (1997) 
 Irene Dische 

Like many other mathematicians in fiction (and in real life too?), the protagonist in this novel is brilliant when it comes to calculations but has difficulty with the most commonplace examples of human... (more) 


Solar Lottery (1955) 
 Philip K. Dick 

In the future, the "Minimax Game" runs society. New mind
technologies are used to take randomization stategies to previously unsuspected heights, in order to get an edge in the Game.
Explicit mentions... (more) 


StandIn (1937) 
 Tay Garnett


Leslie Howard plays a typical Hollywood mathematical genius: emotionless, conceited, and convinced that everything can be understood through mathematics. (Well, one out of three isn't bad!) It takes a trip to Tinsel Town and a beautiful actress to make him see the errors of his ways.
(more) 


Stranger than Fiction (2006) 
 Marc Forster (Director) / Zach Helm (Screenplay) 

An employee of the IRS who is obsessed with counting and performing mental computations begins to hear the voice of a woman narrating his life. He soon learns that he is a character in a novel and that... (more) 


Three Days and a Child (1970) 
 Abraham B. Yehoshua 

Dov, an Israeli mathematics graduate student, watches the young child of a woman he knew at a kibbutz. He alternates between loving the child as he still loves the woman and intentionally endangering... (more) 


Threshold (1997) 
 Sara Douglass 

This is another fantasy book in which mathematics is seen as a sort of magic, but in this one it is specifically a particularly evil, cold and inhuman form of magic, in contrast to other less formulaic... (more) 


Tigor (aka The Snowflake Constant) (1991) 
 Peter Stephan Jungk 

In this novel, a mathematics professor is emotionally wounded to the point of temporary insanity by the lack of acceptance of his geometric theory of snowflakes and runs away. His journey takes him to... (more) 


Tracking the Random Variable (1991) 
 Marcos Donnelly 

Ronald Barr is a statistician with a knack for identifying hidden variables. For example, it was he who recognized that by offering chicken soup and hot chocolate in the automatic coffee machine, his... (more) 


We (1924) 
 Yevgeny Zamyatin 

Like 1984, We is a book about a utopia gone wrong. In fact, it is acknowledged as a source which Orwell used when writing his more famous dystopian novel. (We was written in Russian in 1921, published... (more) 


The Zero Theorem (2013) 
 Pat Rushin (screenplay) / Terry Gilliam (director) 

Qohen Leth corrects people who call him a number cruncher: he's an entity cruncher. Even though he is very good at his job, processing data in the office at his company's famous cubebased computer terminals,... (more) 
