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Conjure Wife (Dark Ladies) (1953)
Fritz Leiber
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

Contributed by "William E. Emba"

Norman Saylor, a professor of anthropology/sociology, discovers his wife has been practicing magic for years, and that their house is loaded with charms. Annoyed at her secret superstitious bent, he orders her to destroy all such devices.

Of course, when the last such protective item is gone, everything starts going wrong in the Saylors' lives. It seems the other faculty wives had been practicing hostile witchcraft against them, to no avail.

Saylor must fight back after his wife's soul is stolen. The one edge he has turns out to be mathematics, in the form of his colleague Linthicum Carr, world's greatest expert in symbolic logic after Russell and Whitehead. Saylor reduces existing magical spells to 17 equations in a symbolic language, and Carr derives from them a master equation, which Saylor then puts to use.

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Works Similar to Conjure Wife (Dark Ladies)
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Mathemagics by Margaret Ball
  2. A Logical Magician by Robert Weinberg
  3. The Babelogic of Mathematics by Vijay Fafat
  4. Naturally by Fredric Brown
  5. Description of a New World, Called The Blazing World by Margaret Cavendish
  6. Cantor’s Dragon by Craig DeLancy
  7. Turjan of Miir (The Dying Earth) by Jack Vance
  8. The Root and the Ring by Wyman Guin
  9. The Gift of Numbers by Alan Nourse
  10. Merlin Planet by E.G. Von Wald
Ratings for Conjure Wife (Dark Ladies):
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 (2 votes)
Literary Quality:
3.5/5 (2 votes)

TopicLogic/Set Theory,
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)