a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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According to the Law (1996)
Solvej Balle

Four interconnected stories are told which wrap around onto themselves like a M¨bius strip. But, it is not only the structure of the story that is mathematical. In the first we meet a biochemist who is conducting an autopsy on the body of a woman who drowned in freezing waters around Quebec. (You know, I don't think biochemists are allowed to do autopsies...not unless they are MDs, I think.) This leads to the next story, and then the next which is about a Danish mathematician with an attitude problem. He wants to be a "human zero". He wants to take up the minimal amount of space. He wants to not exist! This leads into the story of a Quebecois scupltor who commits suicide and turns out to be the body from the first story, leading us back (with a twist) thus forming a Mobius band!

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Works Similar to According to the Law
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Sad Strains of a Gay Waltz by Irene Dische
  2. The Wild Numbers by Philibert Schogt
  3. Arithmetic Town / Arithmetic by Todd McEwen
  4. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
  5. Towel Season by Ron Carlson
  6. Belonging to Karovsky by Kathryn Schwille
  7. The Arnold Proof by Jessica Francis Kane
  8. The Fall of a Sparrow by Robert Hellenga
  9. The Adding Machine by Elmer Rice
  10. Continuity by Buzz Mauro
Ratings for According to the Law:
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:
3.5/5 (2 votes)

MotifMental Illness, Math as Cold/Dry/Useless, Mobius Strip/Nonorientability,
MediumNovels, Short 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)