a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Eve Times Four (1960)
Poul Anderson
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

An old "pulp" SF story about an accident which strands some space travelers on a deserted but habitable planet. One of them is a female mathematician:

(quoted from Eve Times Four)

Teresina was of the tall and willowy persuasion, with long blonde hair and large blue eyes, snub nose and slightly parted lips. Her black kirtle and white mantle had childlike connotations on Earth, protective coloration fro a shy girl who didn't know what to do when a ma spoke to her in any language but mathematics.

Teresina has a habit of using the names of famous historical mathematicians as if they were expletives (e.g. "Enough is enough, for Gauss' sake" and "Cayley and Sylvester! If you had any will power whatsoever you would help me with the boat!"). At one point the narration says "Teresina closed her eyes and tried to pass the time by mentally integrating ex logn x dx" (though it is typeset incorrectly in the version I saw). Aside from that, the only mathematical content is that Teresina was smart enough to be able to figure out that that the "accident" was actually planned by one of the male castaways who had hoped to convince the four women on-board that they had a legal obligation to have sex with him in order to perpetuate the species, and also where they were.

Originally published in the April 1960 issue of Fantastic Science Fiction Stories.

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Works Similar to Eve Times Four
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Security by Poul Anderson
  2. Three Cornered Wheel by Poul Anderson
  3. Brain Wave by Poul Anderson
  4. Tau Zero by Poul Anderson
  5. The Island of Five Colors by Martin Gardner
  6. Problem in Geometry by T.P. Caravan
  7. The Captured Cross-Section by Miles J. Breuer (M.D.)
  8. The Last Magician by Bruce Elliott
  9. The Moebius Room by Robert Donald Locke
  10. Project Flatty by Irving Cox Jr.
Ratings for Eve Times Four:
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:
1/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
2/5 (1 votes)

GenreScience Fiction,
MotifFemale Mathematicians,
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)