a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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The Devil You Don't (1970)
Keith Laumer

The devil (who is not such a bad guy after all) seeks help from a quantum physics expert to fight off some aliens (who are not so evil either) that happen to disrupt the "Randomness Field". This disruption is used to explain many seemingly non-random occurrences (such as 20 car pileups and strange fashion trends) and has gotten so bad that a coin comes up tails every time even after repeated flips. The professor's solution to the problem is very Dirac-like.

This story is sure to upset religious fundamentalists and feminists because it is both heretical and displays the sexism of so many old SciFi classics. But, if you can avoid being bothered by either of those things, it is an entertaining comedy with just a bit of mathematics in it. Thanks to Paul Hafke for suggesting it!

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Works Similar to The Devil You Don't
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. A Very Good Year by Jack C. Haldeman (II)
  2. Luck be a Lady by Dean Wesley Smith
  3. The Law by Robert M. Coates
  4. Probability Storm by Julian Reid
  5. The Devil and Simon Flagg by Arthur Porges
  6. Conservation of Probability by Brook West
  7. The Gigantic Fluctuation by Arkady Strugatsky / Boris Strugatsky
  8. To The Power Against by Carrie Smith (writer) / Stephanie Lantry (Artist)
  9. Numbercruncher by Si Spurrier (writer) / PJ Holden (artist)
  10. The Mathematics of Magic by L. Sprague de Camp / Fletcher Pratt
Ratings for The Devil You Don't:
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 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
3/5 (1 votes)

GenreHumorous, Science Fiction, Fantasy,
MotifAliens, Religion,
TopicMathematical Physics, Probability/Statistics,
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)