The Internet Book List - Spread the word

Book Information: Imaginary Numbers

Imaginary Numbers (1999) [Anthology]
by Edwin A. Abbott J. G. Ballard Christian Bök Jorge Luis Borges Italo Calvino Lewis Carroll Siv Cedering A.K. Dewdney Philip K. Dick Martin Gardner William Gibson Joe Haldeman Piet Hein Roald Hoffman Douglas R. Hofstadter Tommaso Landolfi Fritz Leiber Stanislaw Lem Alan Lightman J.A. Lindon Andrew Marvell Rudy Rucker Hilbert Schenck Abner Shimony Raymond Smullyan Wislawa Szymborska Connie Willis Yevgeny Zamyatin Rating: Weighted - 8.6 / Average - 9.0 of 10 (1 votes) (Rate!)
Reviews: None (show them) Review!

Summary (From the publisher):

Enter the wildly inventive world of Imaginary Numbers, in which a marvelous roster of acclaimed writers conjure up magical happenings, fantastic visions, and brainteasing puzzles, all based in some way on mathematical ideas. This delightful anthology offers a connoisseur’s selection of a special brand of creative writing in which the authors play with a vast array of mathematical notions—from the marvels of infinity to the peculiarities of space-time to quantum weirdness, the relativity of time, and the curious attraction of black holes.

Enjoy Edwin Abbott Abbott’s wonderfully satirical commentary on the hard life of irregular figures, excerpted from his classic Flatland. Ponder Douglas Hofstadter’s story of the incredible mathematical re-creation of Johann Sebastian Bach playing his famous composition "The Well-Tempered Clavier" and contemplate the art of writing a beautiful fugue. Puzzle over Lewis Carroll’s problem of the flower garden that looks like a serpent with corners. Savor Philip Dick’s poignant tale of the golden man who can run at the speed of light and predict the trajectories of randomly fired bullets. Tease out the implications of Andrew Marvell’s brilliant analogy between love and parallel lines. Become absorbed in William Gibson’s dystopian matrix world that looks like "a 3-D chessboard, infinite and perfectly transparent."

As editor William Frucht writes, "Using mathematics to tell stories and using stories to explain mathematics are two sides of the same coin." The work of the creative writers collected here has blazed the trail for a new kind of writing, traveling beyond the dimensions of traditional narrative to create and explore visions of life and its possibilities that capture the beauty and intellectual thrill of seeing our world through mathematical eyes.


  • The Form of Space by Italo Calvino
  • A New Golden Age by Rudy Rucker
  • A Serpent with Corners [from A Tangled Tale] by Lewis Carroll
  • A Positive Remainder by J.A. Lindon
  • How Kazir Won His Wife by Raymond Smullyan
  • 11 May 1905 [from Einstein's Dreams] by Alan Lightman
  • Why Does Disorder Increase in the Same Direction of Time as That in Which the Universe Expands? by Roald Hoffman
  • The Golden Man by Philip K. Dick
  • The Morphology of the Kirkham Wreck by Hilbert Schenck
  • Resolution of the Paradox: A Philosophical Puppet Play by Abner Shimony
  • Parallelism by Piet Hein
  • Prelude... [from Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid] by Douglas Hofstadter
  • The Third Sally, or The Dragons of Probablity [from The Seven Sallies of Trurl and Klapaucius] by Stanislaw Lem
  • Concerning Irregular Figures [from Flatland] by Edwin Abbott
  • The Definition of Love by Andrew Marvell
  • On Fiddib Har [from The Planiverse: Computer Contact with a Two-Dimensional World] by A. K. Dewdney
  • The Church of the Fourth Dimension by Martin Gardner
  • The Extraordinary Hotel, or the Thousand and First Journey of Ion the Quiet by Stanislaw Lem
  • Ten Weary, Footsore Travelers [anonymous]
  • excerpt from The Policeman's Beard is Half-Constructed by Racter
  • Burning Chrome by William Gibson
  • Gonna Roll the Bones by Fritz Leiber
  • A Word on Statistics by Wislawa Szymborska
  • Giovanni and His Wife by Tommaso Landolfi
  • The Private War of Private Jacob by Joe Haldeman
  • The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges
  • Enantiomorphosis (A Natural History of Mirrors) by Christian Bök
  • Schwartzschild Radius by Connie Willis
  • Letter from Caroline Herschel (1750-1848) by Siv Cedering
  • excerpt from We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
  • The Garden of Time by J. G. Ballard

Original title: Imaginary Numbers
Original languages: Various


Genre: PoetryHumorous
FictionScience FictionHard ScienceMathematics
FictionGeneral Fiction

The following works are contained within this one:
     Library of Babel, the (1941) [Short Story]
      Author: Jorge Luis Borges
     Gonna Roll the Bones (1967) [Novelette]
      Author: Fritz Leiber
     Private War of Private Jacob, the (1974) [Short Story]
      Author: Joe Haldeman
     Morphology of the Kirkham Wreck, the (1978) [Short Story]
      Author: Hilbert Schenck
     Schwarzschild Radius (1987) [Short Story]
      Author: Connie Willis
This work contains excerpts from the following works :
     Flatland: A Romance Of Many Dimensions (1884) [Novel]
      Author: Edwin A. Abbott
     We (1924) [Novel]
      Author: Yevgeny Zamyatin
     Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (1979) [Novel]
      Author: Douglas R. Hofstadter
     Planiverse, the (1984) [Novel]
      Author: A.K. Dewdney
     Einstein's Dreams (1993) [Collection]
      Author: Alan Lightman

Edition #1: Imaginary Numbers

Imaginary Numbers (1999)
Edition Details:

Language: English

Search at Amazon!

Search at Powells!

Search at AbeBooks!

Manifested in:

Imaginary Numbers (1999)

ISBN: 0471332445

Add to my library

©Steven Jeffery /, 2017
Terms of Use