MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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30 Most Recently Added/Modified Entries

(Note: This is not the entire list of works of Mathematical Fiction. To see the entire list, click here.)
Trajectory (2024)
Cambria Gordon
Eleanor, a teenage girl from Philadelphia who has been hiding her impressive mathematical abilities from everyone, uses them to aid the military during WW II. As with many works of fiction aimed at... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-05-23 17:08:22
Game Theory (2017)
Barry Jonsberg
A high school student must save his younger sister from a kidnapper in this Australian YA novel. Math is mentioned often in the book. The book opens with a discussion of the equations on the special... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-05-17 20:16:09
A Presence Beyond the Shadows (2024)
David Lee Summers
A math department chair's wife fears their house is haunted. She convinces him to bring home the goggles he invented that allow the wearer to see into the fourth dimension. Mathematical terminology... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-05-14 06:52:16
Solve for X (2024)
Wil Forbis
This is a supernatural murder mystery in which the victim is a math tutor. An incorrect method for solving linear equations with a parameter are part of the clue which leads to the capture of the murderer,... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-05-12 23:01:07
Lost and Found (2024)
Joe Stout
A man who becomes lost while hiking is captured by an evil math teacher who enjoys torturing her victims with lessons and quizzes. The plot, which also involves a beautiful woman who was kidnapped by... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-05-12 22:31:50
Asymmetrical Dreams (2024)
Josh Snider
Professor Sam Collin studies and lectures on the mathematics of symmetry. His OCD manifests as an obsessive desire for symmetry in his physical surroundings. He is therefore initially pleasantly surprised... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-05-10 18:44:24
Trains Passing (2024)
Martin Ziegler
A thoroughly unpleasant math teacher is riding a high-speed train traveling at precisely 400 mph in one direction on a perfectly straight track while another train travels in the opposite direction at... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-05-10 15:07:22
They'll Say It Was the Communists (2024)
Sarah Lazarz
Women working as human "computers" for NASA in its early years discover that their boss is actually a tentacled creature who feasts on valid calculations and is repulsed by mathematical errors. In addition... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-05-10 14:34:43
Erasthones' Map (2024)
Damon Nomad
A Greek-American math professor living in Istanbul combines his number theory research with religion while trying to find a cave that serves as a mystical gateway though which he can send his dead brother... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-05-10 11:48:33
Real Numbers (2024)
Liz Kaufman
This entry in the "mathematical horror" collection Arithmophobia concerns a stereotypical anti-social math nerd whose obsession about odd and even numbers turns into fatal violence after he takes a philosophy... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-05-10 11:04:19
Manifold Thoughts (2024)
Patrick Freivald
A talented female mathematics grad student (who is a postdoc by the end of the story) helps her thesis advisor model the dynamics of Calabi-Yau manifolds, discovering that they are both sentient and deadly. The... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-05-10 10:56:05
Once Upon a Wardrobe (2021)
Patti Callahan
Megs is a student at Oxford University in 1950 whose eight year old brother is so ill that he is unlikely to live another year. While Megs loves equations, her brother George loves the new book "The Lion,... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-05-09 15:20:12
The Circumference of the World (2023)
Lavie Tidhar
This genre-bending meta-fictional novel concerns a mysterious book called "Lode Stars" by a pulp science fiction author who founded a religion. The main tenets of that religion are that the universe is... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-04-24 13:27:43
The MANIAC (2023)
Benjamin Labatut
The life of John von Neumann is the main focus of this book which (like the author's other work in this database) could easily be mistaken for a non-fictional history book. The middle portion of the book... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-04-10 11:42:27
Exordia (2024)
Seth Dickson
Seth Dickinson's Exordia (Jan 2024) takes as one of its central conceits the notion that the physical universe is an expression of mathematical reality, and has as one of its central characters a Chinese... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-04-09 11:48:05
The Triangular House [La Casa Triangular] (1925)
Ramon Gomez de la Serna
Adolfo Sureda had made a lasting promise to himself: to have a house of unique architecture built for him and his bride, Remedios. For this, he commissioned a recent graduate of architecture who... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-04-03 13:01:23
Kayip Piramit - Sayilarin Izinde (2019)
Ahmet Baki Yerli
History of science professor Tahir Baturay has been trying for years to unravel the secrets of the Egyptian pyramids. However, despite all his attempts, he could not make any significant progress. On... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-04-02 14:51:00
Küplerin Savasi (2021)
Ahmet Baki Yerli
This Turkish novel for young adults appears to be a fictionalized account of the dispute between Tartaglia and Cardano over the solution to cubic equations. A nice account of the true story can be found here in Quanta Magazine, but I'm afraid I do not know anything more about Yerli's book which so far has only been published in Turkish. (more)
Last Changed: 2024-04-02 14:40:08
Principles of Emotion (2024)
Sara Read
Meg Brightwood grew up as a mathematical prodigy with an overbearing mathematician father and an absent mother. She later quit her academic job due to a combination of her crippling anxiety and the sexism... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-04-02 13:24:05
Babbage (2008)
Claire Barker (writer-director) / Eamon Wyse (writer)
A 2010 movie sponsored by the British Council and directed by Claire Barker. It is a short, 15-minute vignette, a dramatization of a fictional dinner conversation between Charles Babbage, his religious... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-04-02 12:20:19
The Engineer of Moonlight (1979)
Don DeLillo
The aging mathematician Eric Lighter spends time with his assistant (James), wife (Maya), and ex-wife (Diana) who are all staying together at his home in this two act play. Diana is shocked to learn... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-03-27 12:29:43
The Wonderful Dog Suit (1964)
Donald Hall
I have to say this very short story (published in The Carleton’s Miscellany in Spring 1964) merges magic realism and horror quite effortlessly with child-like humor so that by the end of it, you are... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-03-21 16:06:41
Three Plates on the Table [Tres platos en la mesa] (1961)
José María Gironella
An emotional, sensitively written example of a short story of magic realism, in the classic tradition of Borges and Cortazar. Most of the story revolves around the main character’s frame of existence,... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-03-18 12:45:05
The Cubist and the Madman (1991)
Robert Metzger
This is one whacked-out ride of a story, very well written for its purpose, completely disorienting in its mood and descriptions, and achieving its purpose the way a cubist painting would. Rather than... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-03-14 20:04:24
Diabologic (1955)
Eric Frank Russell
Tagline: “One way to keep a man from getting anywhere is to give him a toy—a nonsense puzzle —that he can’t put down. It’s much more effective than trying to forcibly hold him!” This is... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-03-12 22:09:12
The Shadow of the God (1900)
Charles Newman Hall
A cute, poetically-written story set in the Yucatan, where Ethel, her cousin, Tom, and Tom’s college friend, Whitman, went looking at the ruins of an ancient Aztec “Temple of Huitzilopochtli”. Whitman... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-03-12 21:44:42
On the Average (1953)
Frank Bryning
Tagline: Critics of Dr. Rhine’s famed ESP experiments have eyed the Law of Averages with skepticism. In space those critics may triumph. A story which highlights the fact that while statistics have... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-03-11 22:09:22
Probability Murder (2006)
Michael Flynn
This amusing, if a bit farcical, little tale unfolds in a bar on a very rainy night, where Sam Hourani, a homicide detective, recounts to the storyteller how he thinks that a recent “accident”... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-03-09 11:23:32
Nobody Loves a Moebius Strip (1979)
Alice Laurance
A very warm and fuzzy 2-page story about a living alien creature shaped in the form of a Mobius Strip. It starts off with: “You could be interested,, even fascinated by one, you could conceivably... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-03-09 11:18:01
The Young Philosopher - A Sketch For Parents (1852)
Sylvanus Cobb, Jr..
Another short story which highlights the prejudices the society had toward the measure of “intelligence” and the inability to recognize the large range of human abilities at a young age, where the... (more)
Last Changed: 2024-03-08 08:16:23

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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)