a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Uncle Georg's Attic (2002)
Ben Schumacher

This short story appeared in the September 2002 issue of "Math Horizons", published by the Mathematical Association of America. In it, some kids look through an attic containing lots of stuff belonging to their "crazy Great-Uncle Georg", who was apparently Georg Cantor. There they find fantastical items of mathematical interest like a countably infinite deck of cards (which can be split into two decks of the same size, of course), a mechanical "Zeno Game" in which each turn of a small crank brings Achilles closer to the turtle even though he never seems to catch up, an album of all possible lists, and a Ouija board that always lies.

(Note: This is just one work of mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)

Works Similar to Uncle Georg's Attic
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Hilbert's Hotel by Ian Stewart
  2. The Strange Case of Mr. Jean D. by Joao Filipe Queiro
  3. Cantor’s Dragon by Craig DeLancy
  4. The Gangs of New Math by Robert W. Vallin
  5. Math Curse by Jon Scieszka / Lane Smith (illustrator)
  6. Harvey Plotter and the Circle of Irrationality by Nathan Carter / Dan Kalman
  7. Normed Trek by Harun Šiljak
  8. The Legend of Howard Thrush by Alex Kasman
  9. The Case of the Murdered Mathematician by Julia Barnes / Kathy Ivey
  10. Cardano and the Case of the Cubic by Jeff Adams
Ratings for Uncle Georg's Attic:
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:
3/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
2/5 (1 votes)

GenreHumorous, Didactic,
MotifMental Illness,
TopicInfinity, Logic/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)