a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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72 matches found out of 1451 entries

(Note: This page not the entire list of works of Mathematical Fiction. To see the whole list, click here.)

All Cry Chaos (2011)
Leonard Rosen
When a mathematician is killed in an explosion immediately before presenting his paper on the inevitability of a one-world 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 year-old 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)
Highly Rated!
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 M-set; 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)
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 (co-produced 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 ex-lover who is now being blackmailed by her ex-husband. --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 mind-boggling 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 well-written, 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)
Chaos in Wonderland: Visual Adventures in a Fractal World (1995)
Clifford Pickover
Devoted to a society of mathematicians living in a subterranean chamber of Ganymede, a moon of Jupiter. Status in their societies is determined by the beauty of their fractal dreams. Fractal weapons, chaos theory, the Lyapunov exponent, and strange attractors are featured. (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 time-machine 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)
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)
Highly Rated!
Mark Cohen
In this award winning (Top Ten Mysteries on the Book Sense 76 Fall List for 2002) mystery novel "Hard-Boiled" Detective Pepper Keane is hired by a tall and attractive math professor (with whom he of course... (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 self-respect 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 mathematician-cum-computer 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, mind-tickling 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)
Highly Rated!
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)
Highly Rated!
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 grand-daughter 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)
Luminous (1995)
Highly Rated!
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)
Highly Rated!
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)
Pi (1998)
Highly Rated!
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)
Probability Pipeline (1988)
Rudy Rucker / Marc Laidlaw
A typical Rudy Rucker short story full of techno-jargon 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 Self-Study (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 (1990)
William Sleator
Time-travel 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)
Strange Attractors (1993)
Highly Rated!
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)
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 Three-Body 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 "mu-space" (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 non-trivial) 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)
Highly Rated!
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)

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)