a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Genghis Khan and 888 (2005)
Jason Earls
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

As one might guess from the title of the literary journal in which it was published ("Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens #4"), this story is a bit strange. According to the author, it is absurdist and contains `concrete math'. In the story, 888 (the integer) is good friends with Gengis Khan and helps him find a planet to conquer. He does this using Gematria and by offering him integers with interesting properties (being prime or having the sum of their digits as a factor) that also look pretty when their digits are displayed as a graphic in a grid. (I'm guessing that these numbers may actually have the claimed properties, and that this is what Earls means by `concrete math', but I did not check.)

Anyway, read this story to find out why it is not possible to do any (correct) computations with the number 888.

More information about this work can be found at
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Works Similar to Genghis Khan and 888
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Borzag and the Numerical Apocalypse by Jason Earls
  2. Red Zen by Jason Earls
  3. Euler's Equation by Neil Hudson
  4. The Adventures of Topology Man by Alex Kasman
  5. Unreasonable Effectiveness by Alex Kasman
  6. Monster by Alex Kasman
  7. Freemium by Louis Evans
  8. Private i by S. R. Algernon
  9. A Deadly Medley of Smedley by Feargus Gwynplaine MacIntyre
  10. life.exe by Jason Rogers
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GenreHumorous, Science Fiction,
TopicAlgebra/Arithmetic/Number 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)