. . . 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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|Housing Shortage||Harry Walton||Fiction||SS||Parallel universes|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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)