
21 Grams (2003) 
 Alejandro González Iñárritu 

I have not yet seen this film in which Sean Penn portrays a critically ill mathematician. The title is apparently taken from the results of the bizarre (hard to believe and never reproduced) experiments... (more) 


Ada's Room (2023) 
 Sharon Dodo Otoo 

This novel follows a woman's soul through four reincarnations, beginning in Africa in the 15th century and ending in Europe during World War II. All four are named "Ada", and one of them happens to be... (more) 


After Math (1997) 
 Miriam Webster 

The ghost of math professor Ray Bellwether tries to solve the mystery of
his own murder in this `first novel' by Amy Babich (Webster is just a
pseudonym). Babich has a Ph.D. in mathematics (and a Master's... (more) 


The Amazing SpiderMan (Issues 555557) (2008) 
 Zeb Wells (writer) / Chris Bachalo (penciller) 

The issue of Amazing SpiderMan entitled "Sometimes it Snows in April" introduces a disheveled mathematician named Benjamin Rabin who appears to be the victim of an attempted assault. He explains to police... (more) 



An Angel of Obedience (2010) 
 John Giessmann 

Due to his new obsession with fractal geometry, thirteen yearold prodigy Jackson Carter has just ended an illustrious career as a classical musician and enrolled as a math major at Harvard. There he... (more) 


Arcadia (2016) 
 Iain Pears 

As this clever novel is intentionally a hodgepodge of genres, it is a bit difficult to describe. It involves a British spy brought back from retirement in the 1960s to find a mole, a mathematician in... (more) 


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) 


The Babelogic of Mathematics (2023) 
 Vijay Fafat 

This is a creation myth for mathematics itself, incorporating the writing styles of both the Book of Genesis and Nasadiya Sukta. The author, it should be noted, is a frequent contributor to this website... (more) 


Back to Methuselah (1921) 
 George Bernard Shaw 

In this notverystageable play in five parts, Shaw expounds on
mankind and the theory of evolution, from Adam and Eve in the
Garden of Eden to a paradise world 30,000 years in the future.
It turns... (more) 


Barking (2007) 
 Tom Holt 

Duncan Hughes has had a rather monotonous and trite career as an
estate and tax lawyer when suddenly werewolves, vampires, zombies,
and one impossibly alluring unicorn, along with his exwife and his
old... (more) 


Been a long, long time (1970) 
 R.A. Lafferty 

It's a very wellwritten humorous tale (as expected if you're familiar with Lafferty). The mathematical content is a literal interpretation of the six typing monkeys. The angel Boshel, as a punishment,... (more) 


The Better Mousetrap (2008) 
 Tom Holt 

The Better Mousetrap is the fifth book in Tom Holt's
series that began with The Portable Door. The first
four books told the adventures of Paul Carpenter, a fairly
boring nobody who joined the... (more) 


Black Mask of AlJabr (1967) 
 Vladimir Levshin 

The 3 friends return to Karlikania. Their friend, the baby zero, is accosted by a mysterious xshaped stranger, who challenges our heroes to recover his identity. Many adventures unfold, and the... (more) 


Black Numbers (2011) 
 Dean Frank Lappi 

In a fantasy world where math is magic, a young boy's life is endangered as it becomes clear that he is the long awaited Aleph Null.
I really do like the way the characters utilize equations and mentally... (more) 


Blue Tigers (1977) 
 Jorge Luis Borges 

The protagonist, a Scotsman, chases down reports of a blue species of tigers sighted in village in Punjab, Pakistan. He never finds a blue tiger but ends up obtaining some magical stones on a hillside... (more) 


Bonnie's Story: A Blonde's Guide to Mathematics (2013) 
 Janis Hill 

Bonnie wakes one morning to find an unusual stranger named Rogan taking pictures of street signs near her home. Despite the apparent implications of being "a blonde", Bonnie is sufficiently wellversed... (more) 


The Book of Alephs (2023) 
 Inderjeet Mani 

A writer becomes infatuated with the author of a book he is given by a bookseller. The bookseller says it is the ideal book for him personally since he is not like other people. He notices right away... (more) 


The Brady Kids (Episode: It's All Greek to Me) (1972) 
 Marc Richards (screenwriter) / Marc Richards (director) 

I had completely forgotten that there was a cartoon about the Brady Bunch until I ran across this while searching for mathematical fiction. But, it looks so familiar (the pet pandas, the cheesy animation,... (more) 


Calculated Magic (1995) 
 Robert Weinberg 

In this sequel to A Logical Magician, the mathematically trained wizard's assistant returns to fight evil monsters in Vegas and save his fiance (Merlin's daughter) from Hell.
I do like the idea that... (more) 


Calculated Risks (2021) 
 Seanan McGuire 

In this sequel, Sarah must use her mathematical skills to rescue her cousins and a big chunk of Iowa State University from the dimension to which she banished them in Imaginary Numbers.
The Price family,... (more) 


The Call of Cthulhu (1928) 
 H.P. Lovecraft 

This is the most famous story by Lovecraft, which spawned it's own subgenre and
RPG,
called the Cthulhu Mythos. It concerns the investigations of Prof. Francis
Wayland Thurston
as he investigates... (more) 


Cantor’s Dragon (2014) 
 Craig DeLancy 

An absolutely fabulous tale of a man outwitting the devil, reminiscent of “The Devil and Simon Flagg” and in a very creative way. George Cantor, who has been hospitalized with mental exhaustion from... (more) 


The Cinderella Theorem (2014) 
 Kristee Ravan 

A very serious, mathematically inclined teenage girl is shocked to learn that her father is not dead as she had previously believed but rather is the ruler of an enchanted kingdom.
The nononsense,... (more) 


Conjure Wife (Dark Ladies) (1953) 
 Fritz Leiber 

Norman Saylor, a professor of anthropology/sociology, discovers his wife has been practicing magic for years, and that their
house is loaded with charms. Annoyed at her secret superstitious bent, he... (more) 


Convergent Series (1979) 
 Larry Niven 

According to
the liner notes, Niven received an undergraduate degree in
mathematics. Mostly the degree has only apparently inspired his
titles (note also the book called "The Integral Trees") without
noticeably... (more) 


Counting the Shapes (2001) 
 Yoon Ha Lee 

How many shapes of pain are there? Are any topologically equivalent? And is one of them death?
This is a fantasy story in which magic is achieved through mathematics, and hard work. For example,
"Do... (more) 


Coyote Moon (2003) 
 John A. Miller 

Well, this book is hard to describe! It's certainly different and not easily categorizable. It is a novel that addresses the question "What if a young, nerdy, MIT mathematics professor died of cancer... (more) 


Damned Souls and Statistics (2011) 
 Robert Dawson 

A statistician sells her soul to the devil in exchange for guaranteed tenure, but redeems herself by creating a cleverly useless confidence interval.
I like the part about the realization during her... (more) 


Danny’s Inferno (2003) 
 Albert Cowdrey 

An extremely hilarious tale about Danny, a lover of garlic and HP Lovecraft, who is married to a mathematician, Edith. Danny and Edith are somewhat of what you may term “misaligned couple”, with... (more) 


Dante Dreams (1998) 
 Stephen Baxter 

There is an interpretation of Dante's "Divine Comedy" as a mystical description of the universe as a hypersphere (see "Dante and the 3sphere"
American Journal of Physics  December 1979  Volume... (more) 


The Dark Lord (2005) 
 Patricia Simpson 

This fantasy/horror/romance novel features as its protagonist a young, female math professor at UCBerkeley who gets caught up in a battle with a demon when she finds an unusual deck of tarot cards in... (more) 


Description of a New World, Called The Blazing World (1666) 
 Margaret Cavendish 

Although there is only a short discussion of mathematics, I had to include it because it is just too interesting that this is not only one of the oldest sciencefiction stories but moreover the fact that... (more) 



The Devil a Mathematician Would Be (1962) 
 A.J. Lohwater 

This clever short story that captures the feeling of a math problem that "gets under your skin" was printed in
The Mathematical Magpie
and was said to have been "collected" by A.J. Lohwater. Well, I... (more) 


The Devil and Simon Flagg (1954) 
 Arthur Porges 

Mathematicians know the feeling of trying to prove something you
really believe to be true, but has never been proven. There is
pleasure in doing this, like solving a puzzle, but also frustration
and... (more) 


The Devil and the Lady (1930) 
 Alfred Tennyson 

Although first published in 1930, this humorous and beautifully worded play was written by the famous poet more than 100 years earlier when he was less than 14 years old. One character is a mathematician... (more) 


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... (more) 


Donald in Mathmagic Land (1959) 
 Hamilton Luske (director) 

Disney's Donald Duck takes an adventure to a land where mathematics
"comes alive". (Animated short.)
I used this video in my 6th grade
classroom. The kids enjoyed watching
... (more) 


The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics (1963) 
 Norton Juster 

This picture book describes the love story of two geometrical
figures. It was also made into a cartoon by Chuck Jones (available on YouTube).
I have loved this book ever since my wonderful
mathematical... (more) 


The Dreams in the WitchHouse (1933) 
 H.P. Lovecraft 

In this story, Walter Gilman, a mathematics graduate student at Miskatonic
University
in Arkham, Mass, rents a room in the famed haunted "Witch House" of Keziah
Mason,
a witch who legend says escaped... (more) 


EZ Calculus [Calculus by Discovery] (1982) 
 Douglas Downing 

"EZ Calculus", which was previously published under the titles "Calculus the Easy Way" and "Calculus by Discovery", aims to teach the fundamentals of calculus through the adventures of a man who has washed... (more) 


Erasthones' Map (2024) 
 Damon Nomad 

A GreekAmerican 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) 


Evariste and Heloise (2008) 
 Marco Abate 

This contribution to the collection The Shape of Content is difficult to classify. Combining fiction and fact, essay and comic book, fantasy and philosophy, it essentially takes the form of a proposal... (more) 



Fermat's Last Tango (2000) 
 Joanne Sydney Lessner / Joshua Rosenblum 

Fermat's Last Tango is an intelligently written, hilarious fantasia
based on Andrew Wiles' 1993 proof of Fermat's Last Theorem. The main plot consists of a love triangle between Daniel
Keane... (more) 


Flatterland: like Flatland, only more so (2001) 
 Ian Stewart 

In this "sequel" to Flatland, popular
mathematics writer Ian Stewart lets us accompany the granddaugther of the
original "A. Square" who starred in original classic, as she learns about
fractal dimensions,... (more) 


A Foundation in Wisdom (2012) 
 Robert Loyd Watson 

A hitchhiker named Sheridan captivates the man kind enough to offer him a ride with fantastic tales of the Roman village of Ebon and the hero named Marcus who saved it from a giant dachshund named Dachy.
Both... (more) 


Fractal Mode (1992) 
 Piers Anthony 

Here, Anthony's usual blend of fantasy and science fiction takes us to an alternate universe where the geometry of worlds themselves take on the form of the Mandelbrot set. Unfortunately, he spends a... (more) 


The Gate of the Flying Knives (1979) 
 Poul Anderson 

For his contribution to the first "Thieves' World" collection, Poul Anderson contributed a fantasy story about an illustrated scroll which forms a gateway between dimensions.
As the story progresses,... (more) 


A Gebra Named Al (1993) 
 Wendy Isdell 

In this story, Julie falls asleep on her algebra book after
spending a few frustrating minutes trying to finish her homework. An
imaginary number comes to visit her in her room, and transports her
to... (more) 


Geometria (1987) 
 Guillermo del Toro (Writer and Director) 

A boy whose father has died and who is in danger of failing his math class summons a demon, asking him to reunite his family and to ensure that he never fails geometry again. Both wishes are granted,... (more) 


The Ghosts (1908) 
 Lord Dunsany 

The story line is very simple. Two brothers disagree about the existence of ghosts. They have an argument and the brother who clings to rationality wants to put it to test. On a hungry stomach, amidst... (more) 


The Gift of Numbers (1958) 
 Alan Nourse 

A mild story about an accounting bookkeeper, Avery Mearns, who runs into a stranger called, “The Colonel” at the local bar. “The Colonel had a way with numbers like no other guy around. It was... (more) 


The Gnome and the Pearl of Wisdom: A Fable (1977) 
 Richard Willmott 

A greedy gnome with a countably infinite collection of marbles wants to
trade it with Merlin the mathematician for his beautiful "pearl of
wisdom". Merlin takes advantage of the gnomes unfamiliarity... (more) 


The God Equation (2007) 
 Michael A.R. Co 

The angel Azrael is ordered to kill a Philippine mathematician who is using the Internet to create a mathematical proof of the existence of God.
In this story, Azrael is presented as a hitman who kills... (more) 


Goliijo (2007) 
 Alex Rose 

A very cute, mindtickling short tale about a place called “Goliijo”. References to Mandelbrot's paper on British coastline and the Koch curve lead the reader to a description of Goliijo,... (more) 


Grigori’s Solution (2014) 
 Isobelle Carmody 

A kind of magic realism story which stretches beyond the concept of a harmful meme into the realm of the speculation that certain kind of knowledge can destroy all reality.
A mathematician discovers... (more) 


Gulliver's Travels (1726) 
 Jonathan Swift 

If you are lucky enough to find an unabridged version of
Swift's classic book, you will be able to read (among descriptions of
the people of many other unbelievable countries) about the people of
Laputa.... (more) 


Gödel geht [Gödel's Exit] (1991) 
 Andreas Findig 

Kurt Gödel's reflection steps out of the mirror and joins him at his table in a cafe. (That may seem weird, but the author assures us that such fantastical things are always happening in Vienna.) Since... (more) 


Hamisch in Avalon (1995) 
 Eliot Fintushel 

This story marks the return of the Yiddishe mystic Izzy and his daughter
inlaw (now a math professor) Hamisch previously encountered in Izzy at the Lucky Three. There isn't as much math in
this story,... (more) 


Harvey Plotter and the Circle of Irrationality (2011) 
 Nathan Carter / Dan Kalman 

Harvey Plotter, who has a scar shaped like a radical sign on his forehead, must find all of the rational points on the circularum unititatus before the evil Lord Voldemorphism.
The reader follows... (more) 


Hell of a Fix (2009) 
 Matthew Hughes 

When an actuary's exclamation upon hitting his thumb with a hammer summons a demon, he unwittingly causes a general strike of the workers in Hell. With the help of a theologian with a bizarre theory to... (more) 


The Heroic Adventures of Hercules Amsterdam (2003) 
 Melissa Glenn Haber 

The plot focuses on a three inch tall boy who runs away from humans to live with mice, only to discover that the mice are regularly massacred by rats every seven years. The mice, however, cannot anticipate... (more) 


Hypatia's Math: A Play (2016) 
 Daniel S. Helman 

This play about the life of the ancient Greek mathematician Hypatia features music, dance, and the ghost of Hypatia herself. It was first performed in 2016 at the Flagstaff Arts & Leadership Academy in... (more) 


I of Newton (1970) 
 Joe Haldeman 

In this short story a mathematics professor accidentally summons a demon
by cursing while working on a problem involving integration. The devil
brags
that he is able to disprove Fermat's last theorem,... (more) 


Imaginary Numbers (2020) 
 Seanan McGuire 

Sarah Zellaby, a running character in McGuire's InCryptid books, is featured prominently in this entry from the series. Sarah's species evolved from insects in another dimension but look essentially like... (more) 


Incomplete Proofs (2012) 
 John Chu 

This unusual piece combines equal parts fashion industry and math research, with a dash of fantasy and just a pinch of homoeroticism. Grant does a favor for his old partner, Duncan, by modeling his new... (more) 


The Incredible Umbrella (1979) 
 Marvin Kaye 

An English professor, one Mr. Phillimore, finds a magical umbrella which can whisk him away to fictional worlds. Deux ex Machina, and thence, a series of adventures follows, ending in Flatland.
The... (more) 


The Infinite Worlds of H.G. Wells (Episode: The Truth about Pyecraft) (2001) 
 Chris Harrald (Script) / Clive Exton (Script) / Herbert George Wells (story) 

Please correct me if I'm mistaken here, but it seems that the 2001 TV miniseries The Infinite Worlds of H.G. Wells took the story ``The Truth about Pyecraft'', which has no math in it, and made the main... (more) 


Infinities (2010) 
 Vandana Singh 

A nicely written story about Abdul Karim, a mathematics teacher at the local municipal school, set against the backdrop of the religious turmoil between Hindus and Muslims in India. I couldn't quite... (more) 



Jayden's Rescue (2002) 
 Vladimir Tumanov 

I am the author of a children's math mystery novel entitled Jayden's
Rescue and
Published by Scholastic Canada. This novel's plot revolves around
mathematical puzzles for the grades 46 level. The... (more) 


Journey into Geometries (1997) 
 Marta Sved 

It is styled after a frequentlyused device: "Alice in X", where X can be any kind of space which you wish to explain to the gentle reader. In this instance, Alice, along with Lewis Carroll and a Doctor... (more) 


Journey to the Center of Mathematics (2006) 
 Colin Adams 

A parody of the classic Jules Verne tale, which reads like what Woody Allen would have written if he had taken math instead of philosophy at NYU:
The next day, we booked travel on a steamer across the... (more) 


Kandelman's Krim: A Realistic Fantasy (1957) 
 John Lighton Synge 

Thanks for Tony Vance for pointing out to me that this novel by mathematical physicist J.L. Synge should be included in my database. It is difficult to find now, but it is clear that at the time of its... (more) 


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) 


Kazohinia [A Voyage to Kazohinia] (1941) 
 Sándor Szathmári 

This novel features a Gulliverlike character (coincidentally named "Gulliver") who washes ashore in a strange land after a shipwreck. He first stays with the extremely logical Hins, who are always sensible... (more) 


The Last Page (2010) 
 Anthony Huso 

A fantasy novel set in a world where the magic known as "holomorphy" is achieved through mathematical formulas written in blood:
Caliph could still remember the banal demonstration Morgan had put on... (more) 


Let's Consider Two Spherical Chickens (2016) 
 Tommaso Bolognesi 

Although it takes the form of a murder mystery, Bolognesi's "Let's Consider Two Spherical Chickens" really is more of an essay than a work of fiction. Like the other chapters from the collection in which... (more) 


The Lions in the Desert (1993) 
 David Langford 

Two men are hired to guard a mysterious treasure. One of them is a math grad student, and so their discussions to pass the time take on a mathematical flavor. Of particular interest are the references... (more) 


Little People (2002) 
 Tom Holt 

Tom Holt is generally considered one of the masters of
comic fantasy. His humour is apparently too British,
though, since he hasn't had an American publisher for
quite some time. The Britishonly... (more) 


Little Zero the Seafarer [Captain One's frigate] (1968) 
 Vladimir Levshin 

[This Russian children's novel] is about the titular character (who
appears in the other books [by Levshin]), sailing from the A bay through
arithmetical, algebraical and geometrical seas, learning... (more) 


A Logical Magician (1994) 
 Robert Weinberg 

A very creative romp through the lore of creatures of mythology and their return in modern times. A computer programmer creates a program to decode ancient texts and find the incantations to invoke powerful... (more) 


Lord Darcy (1966) 
 Randall Garrett 

The stories in this collection of fantastical murder mysteries take place in an alternate universe where magic rather than science has become the primary human tool for manipulating the world. Frequent... (more) 



Lost (2011) 
 Tamora Pierce 

A mathematically talented little girl from a mystical medieval realm is abused by her antiintellectual father and unappreciated by a mean math teacher who insists that she show all of her work. However,... (more) 


Lost in Lexicon: An Adventure in Words and Numbers (2010) 
 Pendred Noyce 

This novel for middle school aged children seems at first rather similar to the Phantom Tollbooth, which was apparently a source of inspiration for its author. The plot is familiar: a boy and girl travel... (more) 


Lost in the Math Museum (2022) 
 Colin Adams 

Teenager Kallie, who doesn't particularly care for math, gets trapped in a math museum with her father and his friend Maria. They endure horrific dangers and meet the ghosts of famous mathematicians (as... (more) 


The Lottery in Babylon [La lotería en Babilonia] (1941) 
 Jorge Luis Borges 

In what is clearly a metaphor for the apparent randomness of life (and the theological implications that follow), the great Argentinian writer Borges crafts a tale about the all important lottery in a... (more) 


Lovesong of the Electric Bear (2005) 
 Snoo Wilson (playwright) 

This play about Alan Turing, told from the point of view of Porgy, his teddy bear, was produced as part of the Summer 2005 season at the Potomac Theater Project in Maryland. Turing certainly had both... (more) 


Magic or Madness (2005) 
 Justine Larbalestier 

Fibonacci sequences and prime numbers have magical significance in the trilogy of young adult fantasy novels by Australian author Justine Larbalestier. Magic or Madness was the first book in the series, followed by Magic Lessons and Magic's Child.
(more) 


The Magic TwoHorn (1949) 
 Sergey Pavlovich Bobrov 

I barely know anything about this Russian children's book that takes place in a magical mathematical world. Maxim Arnold mentioned it to me at a conference in Oaxaca and told me only that many mathematicians cite it as a source of their interest in mathematics. If you know any more details, please write to let me know.
(more) 


Mandelbrot the Magnificent (2017) 
 Liz Ziemska 

This novella is what I would call a "feel good fantasy" about the mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot who coined the term fractal.
It takes the form of a memoir written by an elderly Mandelbrot recalling... (more) 


Math Takes a Holiday (2001) 
 Paul Di Filippo 

Saint Hubert and Saint Barbara, the two patron saints of mathematics,
pay a visit to a devout Catholic mathematics professor who has been
praying for a mathematical miracle to silence his mockers.... (more) 


Mathemagics (1996) 
 Margaret Ball 

This novel continues the adventures of characters developed in the
"chicks in chainmail" series of anthologies. As the title implies,
in these fantasy stories about a suburban mom who
lives the life... (more) 


Mathemagics (1990) 
 Patricia Duffy Novak 

Kyria despises math and hates the fact that she is required to learn vector calculus at Salem University where she is studying magic. So, she determines to go back in time to learn how the ancient wizards... (more) 




The Mathematics of Magic (1940) 
 L. Sprague de Camp / Fletcher Pratt 

The "Enchanter Stories" by de Camp and Pratt are a very popular series of SF/fantasy stories whose protagonist, Harold Shea, is able to travel to other universes using symbolic logic. "The Mathematics... (more) 


Matrices (2016) 
 Steven Nightingale 

One of 64 fantastical short stories in the collection "The Hot Climate of Promises and Grace", this one concerns a mathematician who fills matrices with real objects instead of numbers. The results are... (more) 


Men at Arms (1993) 
 Terry Pratchett 

The main plot is not mathrelated: the Night Watch has to solve a series of mysterious murders, all while dealing with the internal tensions due to the Patricianmandated hiring of "ethnic minorities"... (more) 


Merlin Planet (1968) 
 E.G. Von Wald 

A lovely tale which merges mathematics / logic systems and magic to a satisfying conclusion. And what a great hook of a tagline in the story! “On Arrey, you could survive  as a frog. Unless you could... (more) 


Mersenne's Mistake (2008) 
 Jason Earls 

This is a nice piece of mathematical fiction in which the mathematician/monk Marin Mersenne encounters a demon with amazing mathematical skills. Like the other stories by Earls, this seems to be designed to showcase the interesting numbers which he has found using computer algebra tools.
(more) 


Middlegame (2019) 
 Seanan McGuire 

When they were young, Roger (who lives in Cambridge MA and loves words) and Dodger (who lives in Palo Alto and loves math) had a psychic link that allowed them to see through each other's eyes, and to... (more) 


The Midnighters (Series) (2004) 
 Scott Westerfield 

Teenagers discover an extra hour to the day during which they can do things while everyone else is frozen. Unfortunately, they also have to worry about the Darklings!
One of the teens, Dess, is interested... (more) 


Moebius Trip (2006) 
 Janny Wurts 

Featuring an aging mirrormaker who is asked to create a mirror which acts like a moebius strip and shows a reflection of the past and the future. Frankly, I did not think it was done well at all and... (more) 


Monday Begins on Saturday (1966) 
 Arkady Strugatsky / Boris Strugatsky 

In this parody of the activity at Soviet research thinktanks, mathematics underlies the "science" of magic. Math is rarely discussed in depth and a knowledge of Russian fairy tales helps the reader to... (more) 


Monster's Proof (2009) 
 Richard Lewis 

With parents and a younger brother who are all "mathematical geniuses", Livey Ell (who is in danger of getting kicked out of cheerleading unless she improves her algebra grades) is a bit too normal. Things... (more) 


Mortal Immortal (1833) 
 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley 

This fantasy story by the author of Frankenstein, about a man who drinks a half dose of a potion that bestows immortality, is only borderline mathematical fiction. The only arguably mathematical part... (more) 


The Mouse and his Child (1967) 
 Russell Hoban 

Not really a kids book (too violent and depressing) nor an adult book
(about a toy mouse that goes on an adventure, with illustrations) this
is nonetheless an interesting allegory for those so inclined.... (more) 



Mysterious Mysteries of the Aro Valley (2016) 
 Danyl McLauchlan 

A semiserious Lovecraftian novel set in New Zealand's Te Aro suburb featuring some mystical mathematicians (and questions of Platonism) in a central role.
This sequel to the Danyl McLauchlan's "Unspeakable... (more) 


Nanny and the Professor (TV Series) (1970) 
 AJ Carothers (creator) / Thomas L. Miller (creator) 

A handsome math professor gets the help of a magical British nanny in raising his adorable kids in this early '70's sitcom.
I actually used to watch this show when I was a little kid, but had completely... (more) 


Napier's Bones (2011) 
 Derryl Murphy 

In the fantasy/SF world of this novel, numerates are special people who are aware of the fact that numbers themselves are alive and can be coaxed or controlled into doing seemingly magical things for them.... (more) 


Naturally (1954) 
 Fredric Brown 

Fredric Brown, a prolific and acclaimed writer of mystery
and science fiction stories and novels, was an extraordinary
master of the shortshort. "Naturally" is a onepager about
Henry... (more) 


Necroscope (Series) (1992) 
 Brian Lumley 

Harry Keogh is a "necroscope" who can communicate with the dead. So, when omens suggest that the Möbius strip and spacetime are going to be relevant to his plans in the near future, he goes straight... (more) 


Nena's Math Force (2005) 
 Susan Jarema 

This picture book for children, which is available for free online and also in print, tells the story of a girl who is upset when her math teacher requires the class to do arithmetic without a calculator.... (more) 


New Tales of the
The AbsentMinded Master (1971) 
 Vladimir Levshin 

This is the third in the Master of the AbsentMinded Sciences trilogy.
The third book is about the two investigating the stealing of a very
valuable stamp. It ends with the promise of further adventures, but
the author never wrote them.
Levshin's beloved children's books have never been translated into English, but can be read in Russian at lib.rus.ec. (more) 


Night of the Eerie Equations (2015) 
 Robert Black 

Another sequel to Night of the Paranormal Patterns about teenager Lennie Miller who solves middleschool mathematical problems for vampires, wizards, and other monsters. This time, she not only has to... (more) 


Night of the Frightening Fractions (2015) 
 Robert Black 

In this sequel to Night of the Paranormal Patterns, teenager Lennie Miller continues to solve mathematical problems to save her town from ghosts and zombies.
I haven't read this young adult novel. I hope to get a chance to do so someday and will post more information here if I do. Or, if you have read it, please write to let me know what you thought of it, and I'll post your review here!
(more) 


Night of the Paranormal Patterns (2014) 
 Robert Black 

A young adult novel that uses the fantasy adventure genre to introduce prealgebra concepts. The protagonist, a seventh grader named Lennie, has been chosen as the "pattern finder" for werewolves, vampires... (more) 


Nightscape: The Dreams of Devils (2012) 
 David W. Edwards 

A teenage math prodigy is contacted by otherworldly beings through his nightmares. As the separation between dream and reality seems to disappear, he faces a supernatural threat with the help of a religious... (more) 


Ninefox Gambit (2016) 
 Yoon Ha Lee 

In a desperate attempt to retake the Fortress of Needles from the heretics who have taken it over, the mathematically talented Kel captain named Cheris is promoted to the rank of general and mentally... (more) 



The Number Devil [Der Zahlenteufel] (1997) 
 Hans Magnus Enzensberger 

"The title may be translated as The
Counting Devil, or maybe The Number Devil, and it has a subtitle that
translates to 'a pillowbook for everyone
who is afraid of math'. Enzensberger is a respected... (more) 


Numbercruncher (2013) 
 Si Spurrier (writer) / PJ Holden (artist) 

A recently deceased mathematician "cracks the recirculation algorithm" and thus is able to control his own reincarnation in the hope of being able to spend more time with the woman he loves. It ends up... (more) 


Numberland (1987) 
 George Weinberg 

The coauthor (with John Schumaker) of STATISTICS: AN
INTUITIVE APPROACH, and practicing psychotherapist, tells
a charming little fable about Numberland.
Peace, harmony,... (more) 



Old Fillikin (1982) 
 Joan Aiken 

A farm boy who hates his math class seemingly calls upon his grandmother's "familiar" to get revenge on his teacher.
This reads like an old fashioned ghost story, but it is the kind where you can imagine... (more) 


On Another Plane (2020) 
 Colin Adams 

A woman with flowing white hair and flowing white robes sits next to a mathematician on a plane and very casually helps him to prove the Riemann Hypothesis.
‘‘I'm not much for knowing what's... (more) 


On the marriage of Hermes and Philology (410) 
 Marianus Capella 

"A must in your data base is Martianus Capella (c. 410 A.D.), On the
marriage of Hermes and Philology (translated in english by W.H. Stahl,
Columbia University Press): Hermes is marrying a minor godess
Philology. The Seven Liberal Arts (including Arithmetic, Geometry,
Astronomy and Harmony) come to greet the couple and present themselves."
(more) 


Operation Chaos / Operation Changeling (1969) 
 Poul Anderson 

Part of a series of stories about detectives who use magic and religion published in Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine in the 1960s, Operation Changeling (later published in novelized form in Operation... (more) 


The Parrot's Theorem (2000) 
 Denis Guedj 

This is an ambitious novel, a magical fantasy about a talking parrot bought at a flea market in France who, with the help of the personal library of a reclusive mathematical genius, teaches some children... (more) 


Partition (2003) 
 Ira Hauptman 

According to Ken Ribet's review of the San Francisco production in the Notices of the AMS, this play about the interaction between the mathematicians Hardy and Ramanujan explores the "partitions" that... (more) 


The Peculiarities (2021) 
 David Liss 

Thomas Thresher, the youngest descendant of the founder of Thresher's Bank in London, has problems. For one thing, Walter Thresher, the current bank director, has trapped him in a deadend job as a bank... (more) 


Perelman's Song (2008) 
 Tina Chang 

This story by Tina Chang appears in the February 2008 issue of Math Horizons magazine (see also JSTOR). It uses a conversation between gods manipulating universes in their hands to poetically inform... (more) 


Phantom (2006) 
 Terry Goodkind 

Richard Rahl, the protagonist of the bestselling Sword of Truth series, seeks to protect the world from an evil spell which (among other things) has removed his wife from existence.
As Kati Voigt points... (more) 


The Phantom Tollbooth (1961) 
 Norton Juster / Jules Feiffer (Illustrator) 

This "Alice in Wonderland"esque children's book follows our hero,
Milo, to the fantasy world through his toy tollbooth. One of the
lands he visits is very "mathematical". We meet the dodecahedron,... (more) 


Plane and Fancy (1944) 
 P. Schuyler Miller 

A wonderfully written yarn about a boy who envisions a nonEuclidean geometry, and conjures it up in reality to a very surprising effect... Along the way, there are strong shades of a RamanujanHardy... (more) 


The Poison Master (2003) 
 Liz Williams 

This is one of those fantasy novels in which mathematics and magic are intertwined. As usual, it is nice to see mathematics portrayed as being simultaneously powerful and beautiful...but there isn't much... (more) 


The Power of Words (1845) 
 Edgar Allan Poe 

A very short work (twopages long!) in
which two angels discuss the divine implications of our ability to
mathematically determine the future consequences of an action, especially
wave propagation.... (more) 


Prime Suspects: The Anatomy of Integers and Permutations (2019) 
 Andrew Granville / Jennifer Granville / Robert J. Lewis (Illustrator) 

In this graphic novel, the surprising coincidences between complete factorizations of integers, permutations, and polynomials is presented as if it were the discovery of a forensic team investigating seemingly... (more) 


The Princess Hoppy or the Tale of Labrador (1993) 
 Jacques Roubaud 

French mathematician Jacques Roubaud, member of the Oulipo group, wrote this bizarre, postmodern, fairy tale which is decidedly for adults rather than for children. According to the cover,
The tale... (more) 


Probabilitea (2019) 
 John Chu 

When it said at the beginning of this story that "Katie’s father...is a physical manifestation of Order and Chaos," I presumed at first it meant that metaphorically. In fact, it means that Katie's... (more) 


Probability Storm (1977) 
 Julian Reid 

Julian Reid takes the concept of statistical anomalies to a fantastic extreme in a slapstick fantasy comedy written in a very witty and conversational style, replete with puns and smartcracks. A tavern... (more) 



Pyramids (2001) 
 Terry Pratchett 

Thanks to Aaron Gullison for pointing out that in this Discworld novel, "the camels are all mathematicians, and think in math." For instance,
The greatest mathematician alive on the Disc, and in fact... (more) 


Quaternia (2015) 
 Tom Petsinis 

Ivan, the main character in Tom Petsinis' Quaternia, is a fictional teenager who spends a lot of his time and energy on playing video games. Ivan goes beyond merely devoting so much time to this hobby... (more) 


Rapunzel's Etymology of Zero (2016) 
 Katie May (Writer) / Seth Podowitz (Director) 

[This] is a cute concept film which uses the fairy tale setting of Princess Rapunzel to articulate some simple but attractive mathematical concepts. In particular, it has a funny take on a desperate... (more) 


The Raven and the Writing Desk (2019) 
 Ian T. Durham 

In this work  which is more of a Socratic dialogue utilizing characters from Lewis Carroll's fiction than it is a work of fiction itself  the author explores philosophical questions regarding the existence... (more) 


The Rithmatist (2013) 
 Brandon Sanderson 

Geometric chalk drawings have magical power in this Harry Potterlike book for teens. In fact, it takes place in an "alternate universe" where Earth's history is different. Since "Rithmatics" was discovered... (more) 


The Root and the Ring (1954) 
 Wyman Guin 

This is a very smartly written story full of humor, weaving fantasy with a reasonable amount of mathematics to make one smile.
A throughly married man with 2 kids and one who is not very good with... (more) 


The Rose Acacia (1995) 
 Ralph P. Boas, Jr. 

"A computer makes a deal with the devil, with the
usual escape clause: if it can ask a question the devil cannot answer, the
computer gets the information for free. As the devil puts it, no logical
paradoxes,... (more) 



Schaurige Mathematik (2007) 
 Alexander Mehlmann 

Professor Moriarty, the evil mathematician best known as the arch enemy of Sherlock Holmes, is both the hero and the narrator of this short story. He joins forces with Dracula and uses math to fight Jack... (more) 


The Shadow Guests (1980) 
 Joan Aiken 

After his mother's death, a boy goes to live with his aunt, a
mathematician, in her haunted English house where he meets the ghosts of his ancestors and learns about his family's curse. The mathematician... (more) 


Sharper than a Sword (1983) 
 Alexander Petrovich Kazantsev 

The famous Soviet science fiction author Kazantsev wrote this fantasy adventure featuring Pierre de Fermat. as the primary protagonist.
As far as I know, the book is out of print and available only... (more) 


Sine of the Magus [aka The Magicians] (1954) 
 James Gunn 

A private detective is hired to track a magician who turns out not to be an expert at "tricks", but a real and powerful wizard. This is one of those works (see the "similars" list below) in which magic... (more) 


The Smithsonian Institution (1998) 
 Gore Vidal 

In the year 1939, a 13 year old orphan known only as "T." is recruited into a secret project to build a nuclear weapon
after he is recognized by his algebra teacher as a math genius. From that description,... (more) 


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) 


Somnium (1634) 
 Johannes Kepler 

"Published posthumously, it is a short story about a dream
of life on the moon. There is no mathematical content in
the actual story, but Kepler included voluminous notes, plus
... (more) 


The Spacetime Pool (2008) 
 Catherine Asaro 

Janelle, recently graduated from MIT with a degree in math, is pulled through the "branch cut" between two universes to an alternate Earth where two sword wielding brothers rule half the world. There,... (more) 


The Square Root of Pythagoras (1999) 
 Paul Di Filippo/Rudy Rucker 

Pythagoras has been granted the magical power of five numbers.
Along the way he discusses his theorem, the five Platonic solids,
and his general philosophy about numbers and the universe. But
he... (more) 


Squate (2022) 
 Tom Blackford 

In this cute story, a thirteen year old girl becomes good friends with the square root of eight. From "Squate", she learns not only facts about math but also things about other people who are working... (more) 


Stranger than Fiction (2006) 
 Marc Forster (Director) / Zach Helm (Screenplay) 

An employee of the IRS who is obsessed with counting and performing mental computations begins to hear the voice of a woman narrating his life. He soon learns that he is a character in a novel and that... (more) 


The Thesis of the AbsentMinded Master (1971) 
 Vladimir Levshin 

[This is the first book in the] trilogy called "The
Master of the AbsentMinded Sciences". The heroes of the other books
(and the author) establish a club, where they analyze the notes (and,
later,letters)... (more) 


Three Days in Karlikania (1964) 
 Vladimir Levshin 

A children's fantasy novel written in Russian. I have not been able to find much about it but Rob Milson says:
Three children travel to Karlikania, an enchanted land populated by numerals. Here they... (more) 


Three times table (1990) 
 Sara Maitland 

The story of three generations of women in a British family, with fantasy overtones introduced through the existence of "dragons". I have not read it, and so do not know how significant the mathematical... (more) 


Threshold (1997) 
 Sara Douglass 

This is another fantasy book in which mathematics is seen as a sort of magic, but in this one it is specifically a particularly evil, cold and inhuman form of magic, in contrast to other less formulaic... (more) 


Through the Gates of the Silver Key (1934) 
 H.P. Lovecraft / E. Hoffmann Price 

"We read of the fantastic travels of the dreamer and mystic Randolph Carter as he
arrives at the Ultimate Gate separating the parallel dimensions and alternate
realities
of the Universe. The Gate... (more) 


Thursday Next: First Among Sequels (2007) 
 Jasper Fforde 

As Vijay Fafat points out, the eponymous heroine of this series of humorous, fantasy mysteries has a daughter who is a math prodigy. Among other things, in this novel she finds a counterexample to Fermat's... (more) 


Touch the Water, Touch the Wind (1972) 
 Amos Oz 

Amos Oz, the famous Israeli author and political activist, wrote this mathematical, musical and mystical novel about a Holocaust survivor who proves a terribly important theorem about "infinity" while... (more) 


The Tower of Babylon (2002) 
 Ted Chiang 

There really is almost no mathematics in this bizarre story that hauntingly
combines
religion with science fiction. However, the "punchline" is entirely
topological in nature.
This story can be... (more) 


The Translated Man (2009) 
 Chris Braak 

Since the horrific Excelsior disaster, the subject of aetheric geometry has been banned. The ethical dilema for a young psychic is whether he should reveal to the detective he is assisting the tremendous... (more) 


The Travel Notes of the AbsentMinded Master (1971) 
 Vladimir Levshin 

This is the second in the Master of the AbsentMinded Sciences trilogy.
The second book is the Master sending letters about his and Little
One's adventures to the Club for continuing analysis.
Levshin's beloved children's books have never been translated into English, but can be read in Russian at lib.rus.ec. (more) 


El Troiacord (2001) 
 Miquel de Palol 

It would be an understatement to refer to this massive novel as "complex". Written in Catalan and never translated (not even into Spanish), it is often published in multiple volumes. Adding the intricacy... (more) 


Turjan of Miir (The Dying Earth) (1950) 
 Jack Vance 

The classic fantasy novel "The Dying Earth" is actually more like a collection of short stories, separate vignettes that share some common features but stand entirely alone. The first of these stories... (more) 


Vampire World (Trilogy) (1993) 
 Brian Lumley 

In these sequels to Necroscope, the twin sons of Harry Keogh living in the remains of a black hole continue to fight vampires. One of the sons has visions of a "vortex of numbers". He seeks the assistance... (more) 


A Very Good Year (1984) 
 Jack C. Haldeman (II) 

A very short fantasylike story about Statistics. A senior statistician for Dept of Acccident Prevention describes how the law of averages appears to have failed when applied to mortality rates. In particular,... (more) 



Voyage of the Shadowmoon (2002) 
 Sean McMullen 

Emperor Warsovran plans to take over the world with Silverdeath, a magical weapon buried centuries ago for fear that its power would be misused. Silverdeath unleashes circles of fiery destruction obeying... (more) 


What it Means When A Man Falls From The Sky (2017) 
 Lesley Nneka Arimah 

In a postapocalyptic Africa, now home to many Europeans who came as refugees from the floods but then took over, mathematicians have the job of eliminating people's pain.
In this fantastical world,... (more) 



When Women Were Dragons (2022) 
 Kelly Barnhill 

In this fantasy/alternative history novel, many women literally turn into dragons in the 1950's. It is clear to the reader that the sexism of that era is responsible for that magical transformation, and... (more) 


The World We Make (2022) 
 N. K. Jemisin 

Readers of the first novel in the series, The City We Became, have already met Padmini Prakash. She loves pure math and hates New York City, but due to familial pressures is preparing to be a Wall Street... (more) 


Über die Schrift hinaus (2018) 
 Ulla Berkéwicz 

The first part of this book is a kind of essay on a "fictional history of
ideas": That an initial, prehistoric life of mind, or spirituality,
which had been esoteric and outside the scope of linguistic
expression,... (more) 


Yesternight (2016) 
 Cat Winters 

In this eerie thriller, a school psychologist tries to help parents of a young girl they believe is the reincarnated soul of a mathematical genius who died at the age of 19.
A psychologist fresh out... (more) 


Your Magic or Mine (2008) 
 Ann Macela 

A math professor and botany professor, who happen to be a wizard and a witch, have an academic disagreement regarding the nature of magic. They also happen to be soulmates, though neither of them likes... (more) 
