a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Mobius Strip (1978)
Cho-Se Hui
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

Contributed by Vijay Fafat

A very short Korean tale, where the author has tried to give a parallel between a situation in real life and the Möbius strip. The story begins with a Math professor's lecture, where he explains the Möbius strip to his students. Then it cuts to a rural setting. Two men, who have gotten swindled by a crooked broker into selling their houses at extremely low prices, seek revenge and repayment. After they confront the broker, one of the men decides to leave and face life as it comes while the other goes on to murder the broker. Finally, the story switches back to the professor, who exhorts his students:

(quoted from Mobius Strip)

Ask yourselves whether there exists a solid whose inner and outer parts can't be distinguished. Imagine a solid where you can't divide inner and outer - mobius-type solid. The universe, infinite, endless, we can't seem to tell its inside from the outside. This simple mobius strip conceals many truths. It will gradually become clear to you that human knowledge is often put to extraordinary evil uses. Make absolutely sure that you never compromise your knowledge for the sake of self interest.

Appearing in the collection whose English title is “The Dwarf".

Also in "The Dwarf" is a story called "The Klein Bottle" which similarly attempts to relate the geometry of a non-orientable surface to some human situation.

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Works Similar to Mobius Strip
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Klein Bottle by Cho-Se Hui
  2. Rough Strife by Lynne Sharon Schwartz
  3. Problems by John Updike
  4. Lost in the Funhouse by John Barth
  5. According to the Law by Solvej Balle
  6. Mulligan Stew by Gilbert Sorrentino
  7. Ratner's Star by Don DeLillo
  8. The Mathematics of Nina Gluckstein by Esther Vilar
  9. The Fall of a Sparrow by Robert Hellenga
  10. In the Light of What We Know by Zia Haider Rahman
Ratings for Mobius Strip:
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.
Mathematical Content:
2/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
4/5 (1 votes)

MotifMobius Strip/Nonorientability,
MediumShort Stories,

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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)