Given the power of mathematics to delve into challenging avenues of speculation, and to define natural elements and recurring patterns of great beauty and complexity, it should come as no surprise that a rich body of creative writing on mathematical topics has been generated. This anthology brings together creative writing on mathematical topics. It includes fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, from authors all around the globe, exploring the many ways in which writers have toyed with and studied mathematical ideas as diverse as the fourth dimension and infinity. Works by authors such as Lewis Carroll, William Gibson, Italo Calvino, and Jorge Luis Borges are all represented. In addition, there are lesser known works, such as science fiction writer Connie Willis' cult story "The Schwartzhild Radius".
Table of Contents
Italo Calvino: The Form of Space. Rudy Rucker: A New Golden Age. Lewis Carroll: A Serpent with Corners (from A Tangled Tale). J. A. Lindon: A Positive Reminder. Raymond Smullyan: How Kazir Won His Wife. Alan Lightman: 11 May 1905 (from Einstein's Dreams). Roald Hoffman: Why Does Disorder Increase in the Same Direction of Time as That in Which the Universe Expands? Philip K. Dick: The Golden Man. Hilbert Schenck: The Morphology of the Kirkham Wreck. Abner Shimony: Resolution of the Paradox: A Philosophical Puppet Play. Piet Hein: Parallelism. Douglas Hofstadter Prelude...(from Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid). Stanislaw Lem: The Third Sally, or The Dragons of Probability (from The Seven Sallies of Trurl and Klapaucius). Edwin Abbott Abbott: Concerning Irregular Figures (from Flatland). Andrew Marvell: The Definition of Love. A. K. Dewdney: On Fiddib Har (from The Planiverse: Computer Contact with a Two-Dimensional World). Martin Gardner: The Church of the Fourth Dimension. Stanislaw Lem: The Extraordinary Hotel, or the Thousand and First Journey of Ion the Quiet. Anonymous: Ten Weary, Footsore Travelers. Racter: From The Policeman's Beard Is Half-Constructed. William Gibson: Burning Chrome. Fritz Leiber: Gonna Roll the Bones. Wislawa Szymborska: A Word on Statistics. Tommaso Landolfi: Giovanni and His Wife. Joe Haldeman: The Private War of Private Jacob. Jorge Luis Borges: The Library of Babel. Christian Bok: Enantiomorphosis (A Natural History of Mirrors). Connie Willis: Schwarzschild Radius. Siv Cedering: Letter from Caroline Herschel (1750-1848). Yevgeny Zamyatin: From We. J. G. Ballard: The Garden of Time. Acknowledgments. Permission Acknowledgments.
William Frucht is a senior editor at Basic Books and the coauthor, with Larry Siever, of The New View of Self.