
All Cry Chaos (2011) 
 Leonard Rosen 

When a mathematician is killed in an explosion immediately before presenting his paper on the inevitability of a oneworld economy to the World Trade Organization, the case falls to Interpol agent Henri... (more) 


Altar of Eden (2009) 
 James Rollins 

"Fractals" is the buzz word in this adventure novel in which a veterinarian discovers seemingly mutated animals who were unwittingly brought back to the US by Black Market traders. Including vague references... (more) 


An Angel of Obedience (2010) 
 John Giessmann 

Due to his new obsession with fractal geometry, thirteen yearold prodigy Jackson Carter has just ended an illustrious career as a classical musician and enrolled as a math major at Harvard. There he... (more) 


Arcadia (1993) 
 Tom Stoppard 

Stoppard's critically successful play includes long discussions of topics of
mathematical interest including: Fermat's Last Theorem and Newtonian
determinism, iterated algorithms, the second law of thermodynamics,
Fourier's... (more) 


As Above, So Below (2009) 
 Rudy Rucker 

An LSD of a story  in typical Rucker style  where a computer programmer working with the Mandelbrot set is visited upon by a living UFO in the form of the Mset; the UFO named Ma explains to him how... (more) 


Aurora in Four Voices (1998) 
 Catherine Asaro 

Jato is trapped in Nightingale, a city in permanent
darkness, inhabited by mathematical artists who mostly ignore him. Soz
arrives to repair her ship, meets Jato, and finds... (more) 


Axiom of Dreams (2023) 
 Arula Ratnakar 

An aspiring mathematician gets a brain implant designed to aid her research on Gödel Incompleteness in the hopes that it will help her get accepted into a PhD program. But, against the advice of... (more) 


The Bank (2001) 
 Robert Connolly 

A brilliant young mathematician (aren't they all!) uses chaos theory to develop a mathematical model that predicts the stock market in this Australian thriller (coproduced by Axiom Films) .
I love... (more) 


Bellwether (1996) 
 Connie Willis 

A statistician studying the causes of fads and a chaos theorist studying the behavior of animals write a joint grant proposal for a project involving sheep. That may not sound like a winning book summary,... (more) 


Big Numbers (1990) 
 Alan Moore / Bill Sienkiewicz 

This comic book (written by Moore and illustrated by Sienkiewicz) was planned as a 12 issue series with a mathematics theme. Unfortunately, due to a lack of cooperation by the artist (and also a substitute... (more) 


Bloom (1998) 
 Wil McCarthy 

In between blooms of a deadly manmade fungus, the humans discuss cellular automata (especially Conway's Game of Life) and complexity theory.
Thanks to Rob Milson for suggesting this book.
(more) 


The Bones of Time (1996) 
 Kathleen Ann Goonan 

A young 21st century mathematician named Cen (short for Century) Kalakaua falls in love with a 19th century Hawaiian princess when they meet through an unusual temporal phenomenon. He becomes obsessed... (more) 


The Butterfly Effect (2001) 
 D.F. Roberts 

Only available for Kindle download as far as I can tell, this sexually explicit novel follows Dr. Martin Crowe as he ``uses chaos math'' (sounds unlikely!) to solve unusual problems for people, such as his exlover who is now being blackmailed by her exhusband.
Suggested for inclusion by Vijay Fafat. (more) 


The Catalyst [The Strange Attractor] (1991) 
 Desmond Cory 

Mathematics professor John Dobie gets caught up in a truly mindboggling
mystery when one of his former students, his wife's best friend, and then
his own wife wind up dead, and the police consider him to be a prime
suspect.
This is the first, my personal favorite, of the three "Professor Dobie
Mysteries" written by British author Desmond Cory. (See also "The Mask of Zeus" and " (more) 


A Catastrophe Machine (2004) 
 Carter Scholz 

A wellwritten, vaguely surrealistic story loosely based on the real mathematical field of catastrophe theory and set within the context of the Vietnam War.
The title is taken from an invention of mathematician... (more) 



Context (2005) 
 John Meaney 

This is the second book in the Nulapeiron Sequence by John Meaney. The protagonist is still Tom Corcorigan, who in the first novel rose from slavery to royalty in part because of his "logosophical" (read... (more) 


Counting the Shapes (2001) 
 Yoon Ha Lee 

How many shapes of pain are there? Are any topologically equivalent? And is one of them death?
This is a fantasy story in which magic is achieved through mathematics, and hard work. For example,
"Do... (more) 


The Curve of the Snowflake (1956) 
 William Grey Walter 

A beautiful and brilliant woman organizes a team of scientists (and a mathematician) who together make fusion energy efficient and invent a flying submarine...and perhaps a timemachine as well. When... (more) 


Death Qualified: A Mystery of Chaos (1992) 
 Kate Willhelm 

The book only becomes science fiction towards the end. For most of it, it follows the format of a mystery in which there are several murders (which remain mysterious to the reader until near to the end)... (more) 


Do the Math: A Novel of the Inevitable (2008) 
 Philip Persinger 

A math graduate student becomes an intern for a math professor famous for his `theory of inevitability' but ends up also helping his wife (an even more famous author of romance novels) write a book using... (more) 


Electric (2004) 
 Chad Taylor 

Three of the characters in this novel are mathematicians. Sam is a former statistician who now works at a successful Auckland data retrieval company. Because he is attracted to the hydrodynamic equations... (more) 


Exordia (2024) 
 Seth Dickson 

Seth Dickinson's Exordia (Jan 2024) takes as one of its central conceits the notion that the physical universe is an expression of mathematical reality, and has as one of its central characters a Chinese... (more) 


The Fall of a Sparrow (1998) 
 Robert Hellenga 

In this novel, a literature professor travels to Italy to testify at the trial of the terrorists who murdered his daughter in a 1980 train bombing. The only math in it appears because another one of his... (more) 


Fatous Staub (1991) 
 Christian Mähr 

This surrealistic science fiction novel about parallel worlds, computers, and the mathematics of Pierre Fatou (who laid the foundations for the theory of fractals) has appeared only in German. Since I... (more) 


The Favor (1994) 
 Donald Petrie (Director) / Sara Parriott (Writer) / Josann McGibbon (Writer) 

A romantic comedy in which a woman married to a math professor wonders what it would have been like to have been with her old boyfriend and so convinces her girlfriend to sleep with him and report back.... (more) 


Feigenbaum Number (1995) 
 Nancy Kress 

A postdoc who perceives reality different than other people (he sees something like the Platonic ideals people ought to be) works with a professor on combining chaos theory with particle physics. I'm... (more) 


Fractal Mode (1992) 
 Piers Anthony 

Here, Anthony's usual blend of fantasy and science fiction takes us to an alternate universe where the geometry of worlds themselves take on the form of the Mandelbrot set. Unfortunately, he spends a... (more) 


The Fractal Murders (2001) 
 Mark Cohen 

In this award winning (Top Ten Mysteries on the Book Sense 76 Fall List for 2002) mystery novel "HardBoiled" Detective Pepper Keane is hired by a tall and attractive math professor (with whom he of course... (more) 


Futurama (Episode: 2D Blacktop) (2013) 
 Michael Rowe (writer) / Raymie Muzquiz (director) 

In the episode 2D Blacktop from Futurama's tenth season, Professor Farnsworth invents a device that looks like a tesseract and takes his "hot rod" into the fourth dimension. When he collides with Leela's... (more) 


Gambler's Rose (2000) 
 G.W. Hawkes 

A picaresque novel about the Halloran family who live by grifting. Charging lunch to their room in a hotel where they aren't staying and winning a fabulous yacht in a game of poker are the high points,... (more) 


Geometria dell'apocalisse (1999) 
 Marco Abate (writer) / R. Bogagni (artist) 

Italian comic book whose title translates as "Geometry of the Apocalypse".
A (definitely not successful, if I may say so myself) attempt of mixing fractals, impossible murders, racial issues, voodoo gods and the wonderful city of Venice. Remember the city, and forget this story.
Published in
Lazarus Ledd 68, Star Comics, Perugia, 1999, 95 pp (more) 


Getting Somewhere (1995) 
 Jenny Pausacker 

In this Australian novel for teenagers, a student who lives in the shadow of her twin is able to find her own identity and some selfrespect with the help of a maths teacher. The teacher challenges her... (more) 


The Ghost from the Grand Banks (1990) 
 Arthur C. Clarke 

The topics change
from the Titanic to a giant octopus but a central one is the
Mandelbrot set. We are introduced to mathematiciancumcomputer
wizard Edith Craig who invents software to fix the Y2K... (more) 


The God Equation (2007) 
 Michael A.R. Co 

The angel Azrael is ordered to kill a Philippine mathematician who is using the Internet to create a mathematical proof of the existence of God.
In this story, Azrael is presented as a hitman who kills... (more) 


Goliijo (2007) 
 Alex Rose 

A very cute, mindtickling short tale about a place called “Goliijo”. References to Mandelbrot's paper on British coastline and the Koch curve lead the reader to a description of Goliijo,... (more) 


Gödel's Sunflowers (1992) 
 Stephen Baxter 

Far in the future, a human explores a giant fractal construction which is a
physical realization of the total knowledge of the creatures which created
it long ago. In the process he learns about (more) 


Habitus (1998) 
 James Flint 

There is no doubt that this novel is a work of mathematical fiction, but I'm not sure how to describe it. I think the best word for it may be "uneven". It does some great things, both presenting some... (more) 


The Hollow Man (1993) 
 Dan Simmons 

A psychic mathematician is driven to the edge of insanity as his life partner approaches death. The mathematician's research is described explicitly  as are some of the horrific events that befall... (more) 


Immune Dreams (1978) 
 Ian Watson 

A creepy but interesting story that combines the genetics of cancer, the neurology of dreaming, immunology, and the mathematics of catastrophe theory (a precursor of what we now call "chaos theory"). ... (more) 


Improbable (2005) 
 Adam Fawer 

A probability expert suffering from epilepsy (with hints of schizophrenia) is in over his head with gambling debts to the Russian mob and a beautiful, renegade CIA agent before discovering that he has the ability to predict the future. A running subplot is the mathematical aspects of determinism (i.e. (more) 


Jurassic Park (1990) 
 Michael Crichton 

Although there is really not much mathematics in this SF thriller at all, the
mathematician (played in the
film by
Jeff Goldbloom) has an important role as the only
person smart enough to recognize... (more) 


The Last Equation of Isaac Severy (2018) 
 Nova Jacobs 

After mathematician Isaac Severy's suspicious death, his granddaughter follows the clues he left her to find and protect his final discovery.
In this murder mystery/family drama, Hazel Severy leaves... (more) 



Il Lemma di Levemberg (1996) 
 Marco Abate (writer) / S. Natali (artist) 

Published in an Italian comic book, this story (whose title translates as "Levemberg's Lemma") was written by Abate and illustrated by Natali. The author describes it for us as follows:
A (possibly... (more) 


Light (2002) 
 M. John Harrison 

This dark and violent space opera features many references to fractals and spaceships "which were made of nothing much more than mathematics, magnetic fields, and some kind of smart carbon".
Here is an... (more) 


Luminous (1995) 
 Greg Egan 

A truly wonderful story in which two math grad students discover that the things we consider to be "truths" in number theory are actually part of a dynamical system, subject to change over time and in... (more) 


The Lure (2007) 
 Bill Napier 

Irish mathematician Tom Petrie is called in as an expert to analyze a mysterious stream of particles that appears to be a message from aliens. The math never gets very deep. Petrie is supposed to be... (more) 


The Mandelbrot Bet (2016) 
 Dirk Strasser 

The byline of the story is: "Does mathematics truly describe the physical universe, or is the world of mathematics actually the universe itself? And what do these concepts have to do with the hopes and... (more) 


Mandelbrot the Magnificent (2017) 
 Liz Ziemska 

This novella is what I would call a "feel good fantasy" about the mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot who coined the term fractal.
It takes the form of a memoir written by an elderly Mandelbrot recalling... (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) 


Mathematics of the Heart (2011) 
 Kefi Chadwick (playwright) / Donnacadh O'Briain (director) 

An expert on the mathematics of chaos theory deals with chaos in his own life in the form of a girlfriend seeking commitment, a brother crashing in his apartment, and a new graduate student.
I have not seen this play, but have only run across notices announcing its production at the Brighton Fringe festival in 2011. Additional information about the play would be most appreciated. (more) 


The Nature of Smoke (1996) 
 Anne Harris 

Science fiction thriller combining genetic engineering and chaos theory.
The math is not presented in a way that conveys any real meaning to the
reader, but perhaps some feeling for the beauty of math... (more) 


Numbers Don't Lie (2005) 
 Terry Bisson 

This novel is actually just a compilation of three Wilson Wu short stories ("The Hole in the Hole", "The Edge of the Universe" and "Get Me to the Church on Time") which were previously published in Asimov's... (more) 


Paradox (2000) 
 John Meaney 

Young Tom Corcorigan seems to represent the lowest "caste" in the extremely hierarchical human society of the year 3404. However, his mathematical abilities (he is able to figure out a way around Gödel's... (more) 


Path Correction (2021) 
 Sylvia Wenmackers 

This short story, published in the journal Nature, imagines a future in which people can have the Lyapunov exponent of their own lives evaluated for a fee. Theoretically, this would give them an idea... (more) 


The Phantom Scientist [Le Chercher Phantôme] (2013) 
 Robin Cousin 

This graphic novel takes place at at "The Institute for the Study of Complex and Dynamic Systems", which facilitates interactions between researchers in different disciplines. Although none of the researchers... (more) 


Pi (1998) 
 Darren Aronofsky (director) 

A mathematician discovers a new relationship between chaos theory and
the number Pi which makes him a target of a dangerous religious sect
and a greedy investor. The references to mathematics and its... (more) 


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) 


Probability Pipeline (1988) 
 Rudy Rucker / Marc Laidlaw 

A typical Rudy Rucker short story full of technojargon and hippie language.
Delbert and Zep are two brothers looking for good surfing opportunities. One day, Delbert hypnotizes Zep and plants an... (more) 


Problems for SelfStudy (2002) 
 Charles Yu 

The life of a mathematical physicist  from earning his PhD, through marriage, fatherhood and into a midlife crisis  presented in the form of homework exercises from a math book.
We first meet... (more) 


Pythagoras' Revenge: A Mathematical Mystery (2009) 
 Arturo Sangalli 

Freelance science journalist Sangalli has written a book which presents some historical information about Pythagoras and his beliefs in the form of a novel of the detail driven conspiracy theory adventure... (more) 


The Rapture of the Nerds (2004) 
 Cory Doctorow / Charles Stross 

This story is set in Stross's "Accelerando" series,
due for publication in novel form in 2005, offering
a worm's eye view of the "Vinge singularity", the
supposed moment in the coming decades... (more) 


Resolution (2006) 
 John Meaney 

This is the third and apparently final novel in the Nulapeiron sequence. In the first two we see Tom use his skills at fighting and mathematics (called "logosophy" in the book) as well as knowledge gained... (more) 


Rucker  A Life Fractal by Eli Halberstam (1991) 
 John Allen Paulos 

Like Lem's De Impossibilitate Vitae and Prognoscendi , this is a work of fiction that takes the form of a book review. (As Paulos explains in his introduction, "Reviewing [a] book which hasn't been written... (more) 


A Sensitive Dependence on Initial Conditions (1991) 
 Kim Stanley Robinson 

This work of speculative fiction is not a traditional work of fiction with a plot and characters, but reads more like an essay about the chaotic nature of reality which includes some alternative histories... (more) 


The Simplest Equation (2014) 
 Nicky Drayden 

Mariah is a Stanford University math major who has lost her interest in the subject of mathematics. She is initially annoyed when Kwalla takes the seat next to hers in class. Kwalla is an alien with... (more) 


The Square Root of Summer (2016) 
 Harriet Reuter Hapgood 

In this young adult novel, a mathematically inclined teenager who ignores the sad events she does not want to remember learns to deal with them by literally revisiting her past through wormholes.
There... (more) 


Strange Attractors (1993) 
 Rebecca Goldstein 

"Strange attractors: Collection of short stories, some of which have
mathematical content. Two stories (the geometry of soap bubbles and
impossible love and strange attractors) figure the same
main... (more) 


Strange Attractors (2013) 
 Charles Soule (author) / Greg Scott (Illustrator) 

This is is graphic novel in which a mathematics student seeks the help of a seemingly insane genius who claims he has been using chaos theory to save the city of New York from disaster for decades.
Heller... (more) 


Strange Attractors (1990) 
 William Sleator 

Timetravel story for young adolescents with a little bit of chaotic
dynamical systems thrown in. The plot follows Max, a high school student
with an interest in math and science, as he becomes involved... (more) 


Sushi Never Sleeps (2002) 
 Clifford Pickover 

A man and his custom built "girlfriend" visit the land of Fractalia in this bizarre SF novel featuring lots of mathematical concepts (and quite a few kinky concepts as well).
A society of sexy mathematicians... (more) 


The ThreeBody Problem (2006) 
 Cixin Liu (author) / Ken Liu (translator) 

This creative "first contact" novel by a famous Chinese science fiction author won many awards, including the Hugo award.
Like much "hard SF", it is a work of fiction in which the ideas are at least... (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) 


To Hold Infinity (1998) 
 John Meaney 

Meaney's first novel, which only saw its US release in 2006, is not quite as mathematical as some of his later books, but the foundations are there. We encounter "muspace" (additional spatial dimensions... (more) 


To Say Nothing of the Dog (1998) 
 Connie Willis 

Travelling through time, as we all know, is a dangerous business. One small change in the past and you could mess up the future! In this science fiction novel, Willis proposes a (vaguely mathematical)... (more) 


Tre per zero (1997) 
 T. Sclavi (writer) / B. Brindisi (artist) 

An Italian comic book whose title translates as "Three Times Zero".
A very surreal story where a (stereotypical but nontrivial) mathematician "discovers" that
three times zero equal three, and we... (more) 


Unstable Orbits in the Space of Lies (1992) 
 Greg Egan 

"Originally published in Interzone #61, July 1992. Because of an accident,
people's values and beliefs, and convictions, became completely permeable
to one another. So people start clumping according... (more) 


The Visiting Professor (1994) 
 Robert Littell 

Lemuel Falk, a ``randomnist'' from the Steklov Institute in Russia
gets a visiting position at a chaos research institute in Upstate New
York in this academic farce. He meets a drunkard who studies... (more) 


The World We Make (2022) 
 N. K. Jemisin 

Readers of the first novel in the series, The City We Became, have already met Padmini Prakash. She loves pure math and hates New York City, but due to familial pressures is preparing to be a Wall Street... (more) 
