a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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1 to 999 (1981)
Isaac Asimov
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

When cryptologists try to break a simple code, one of the key clues is the frequency with which letters appear. In English, the letter "a" is one of the most frequently used letters. It is therefore curious to note (and this is the clue to the solution of this "mystery") that when one writes out the names of the non-negative integers ("zero, one, two, three, ...") one does not use an "a" until one thousand! (Watch out for the bad pun at the end!)
First published in Twilight Zone magazine (1981) and reprinted in Mathenauts.

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(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 1 to 999
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Child's Play by Isaac Asimov
  2. Ten by Isaac Asimov
  3. One Under the Eight by Catherine Aird
  4. The Math Code by Alex Kasman
  5. Probability Murder by Michael Flynn
  6. Dalrymple’s Equation by Paul Fairman
  7. The Use of Geometry in the Modern Novel by Norman Clarke
  8. Bianca by Nanni Moretti (director and screenplay)
  9. The Mathematicians of Grizzly Drive by Josef Skvorecky
  10. The Visiting Professor by Robert Littell
Ratings for 1 to 999:
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:
1.75/5 (4 votes)
Literary Quality:
2.75/5 (4 votes)

GenreMystery, Humorous,
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)