. . . A Little Further Reading

KEY: In the Size column, fiction works have either an "SS" (meaning "short story" --- you must find it inside an anthology, or perhaps a magazine) or a "B" (meaning you can buy it on its own as a book). Non-fiction works on this list are always separate books, so I indicate their size with an "S" (small), "M" (medium) or "L" (large).

If the title of a book or short story is a link, then that link points to an online copy of the complete text of that work! If, in the Size column, "SS" is a link, it points to an anthology wherein that short story may be found.

NOTE: Previous versions of this list incorrectly stated the author of "Left or Right" as Isaac Asimov. The author is actually Martin Gardner.

Title Author Fiction? Size Topic(s) I recommend the book/story for...
Flatland Edwin Abbott Fiction B Higher dimensions
New!Flatterland Ian Stewart Fiction B Topology, higher dimensions, fractals
Geometry, Relativity, and the Fourth Dimension Rudy Rucker Fiction & Non-fiction S Relativity, higher dimensions
The Shape of Space Jeffrey Weeks Fiction & Non-fiction M Topology, higher dimensions
Left or Right? Martin Gardner Fiction SS 4D
The Captured Cross-Section M.J. Breuer Fiction SS Higher dimensions
--And He Built A Crooked House Robert Heinlein Fiction SS The hypercube
The Boy Who Reversed Himself William Sleator Fiction B Higher dimensions
The Fifth-Dimension Catapult M. Leinster Fiction SS Higher dimensions
Tangents Greg Bear Fiction SS Higher dimensions
New!Mimsy Were the Borogoves Lewis Padgett Fiction SS The fourth dimension
Beyond the Third Dimension Thomas Banchoff Non-fiction M Higher dimensions
Hyperspace Michio Kaku Non-fiction L Higher dimensions, wormholes
New!A Wrinkle in Time Madeleine L'Engle Fiction B Folding space
Out Around Rigel R. H. Wilson Fiction SS Relativity
Relativity Visualized Lewis C. Epstein Non-fiction L Relativity
Spacetime Physics Edwin F. Taylor & John Archibald Wheeler Non-fiction L Relativity
The Mathematical Experience Philip J. Davis & Reuben Hersch Non-fiction L 4D, history of mathematics, alternative mathematics
Luminous Greg Egan Fiction SS non-silicon computers, alternative mathematics

The Green Futures of Tycho
William Sleator Fiction B Time Travel
All You Zombies--- Robert Heinlein Fiction SS Time Travel
Einstein's Dreams Alan Lightman ?? S Distorted time
Singularity William Sleator Fiction B Distorted time
Life-line Robert Heinlein Fiction SS Time as a dimension
Earth Times Two Pamela Reynolds Fiction B Parallel universes
The Forest of Time Michael F. Flynn Fiction SS Parallel universes
New!Housing Shortage Harry Walton Fiction SS Parallel universes

Carl Sagan Non-fiction L Science
Chaos James Gleick Non-fiction L Chaos, fractals, nonlinear dynamics
Hyperpilosity L. S. De Camp Fiction SS Biochemistry
The Left Hand of the Electron Isaac Asimov Non-fiction S Atoms, etc.
Sundiver David Brin Fiction B Lasers, solar physics, aliens, genetics
Saturn Rukh Robert Forward Fiction B Physics (various), aliens
The Secret House David Bodanis Non-fiction M Science, microphysics
New!Atom Lawrence M. Krauss Non-fiction L The history of an oxygen atom, from the Big Bang forward

The Diamond Age
Neal Stephenson Fiction B Nanotechnology, artificial intelligence
There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom Richard Feynman Non-fiction S Nanotechnology
New!Nano! Ed Regis Non-fiction M Nanotechnology, history of nanotechnology
To Sin Against Systems Gary R. Osgood Fiction SS Systems theory

The Cosmic Code
Heinz R. Pagels Non-fiction L Quantum physics
Thinking Physics Lewis C. Epstein Non-fiction L Quantum physics, physics
Six Easy Pieces Richard Feynman Non-fiction L Quantum physics, relativity, physics

A Brief History of Time
Stephen Hawking Non-fiction L Physics, curved space, black holes
New!The Universe in a Nutshell Stephen Hawking Non-fiction L Theories of the formation and structure of the universe, higher dimensions
The Physics of Star Trek Lawrence M. Krauss Non-fiction M Physics, curved space
The Planiverse A. K. Dewdney Fiction B 2D everything, science

Carl Sagan Fiction B Search for aliens
Wang's Carpets Greg Egan Fiction SS Aliens, higher dimensions
Interstellar Pig William Sleator Fiction B Aliens
Rendezvous with Rama Arthur C. Clarke Fiction B Alien artifacts, physics
Unearthly Neighbors Chad Oliver Fiction B Alien cultures

The Cuckoo's Egg
Clifford Stoll Non-fiction L Computers, the Internet, hackers
New!Wonders of Numbers Clifford A. Pickover Non-fiction L Number puzzles and games

The Joy of Pi  (which has a Website)
David Blatner Non-fiction S Pi: the digits, the history and much much more.

These days, there are finally good sources for math, science, and science fiction besides just those printed on paper. Here are a few:


Mindwalk --- This has much discussion of science and the history of science, and it can be appreciated by those with little science background.

Apollo 13 --- The true story of a NASA mission that tried to get to the Moon and failed. Lots of yummy technical details.

Contact --- This is a realistic scientific movie about the way first contact with aliens might actually happen. It is somewhat different than the book (see above). I recommend getting them both.

2001: A Space Odyssey --- "Open the pod bay doors, Hal." This movie has been around for years, and inspired many other books and films. It contains several science ideas that could happen in the real world, and several ideas that are very weird. Stay past the monkey scenes. :-) The book is also good (and so is its first sequel --- I have not read the others).

Gattaca --- This movie came out a while ago, but it did not get the attention it deserved at the time. It's about the effects that semi-widespread genetic engineering could have on society. Note what letters are used in its name.


Cosmos --- Zowie! See this miniseries and read the book.

Life by the Numbers --- This miniseries tries to do for mathematics what "Cosmos" did for science. Not as wildly successful, but still well worth watching.


www.badastronomy.com --- Phil Plait's site has a very similar goal and similar approaches to those of my The Truth About Science Fiction class. Plus Mr. Plait is a Mad Scientist, and their Network has handled more science questions than even my This HAS an Explanation class.

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(Last updated 7/20/02003)