GARDNER, Martin
(1914-)
   US mathematician, conjurer, journalist and author; his BA is in philosophy from the University of Chicago. His In the Name of Science (1952; rev vt Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science 1957) is aniconoclastic and amusing nonfiction book about PSEUDO-SCIENCE: cults, fads and hoaxes existing on the fringes of science, with chapters on HOLLOW-EARTH and flat-Earth theories, pyramidology, UFOS and othersubjects. Of particular interest to sf readers may be its references to Sir Arthur Conan DOYLE, Charles FORT, L. Ron HUBBARD, Richard SHAVER. Morerecent works in the same debunking line are Science: Good, Bad and Bogus (coll 1981) and Notes of a Fringe-Watcher (1988). MG's The AmbidextrousUniverse (1964; exp 1979; rev 1982), on the other hand, concerns serious science; moving from simple questions of symmetry to profound problems of physical philosophy, it is one of the finest works of scientific popularization.From 1956 until 1981 MG wrote the Mathematical Games column in Scientific American, and a number of collections of these pieces have been published in book form, including The Unexpected Hanging and Other Mathematical Diversions (1969) and Mathematical Carnival (1975). His TheNumerology of Dr Matrix (coll 197?; exp vt The Incredible Dr Matrix 1976; exp vt The Magic Numbers of Dr Matrix 1985) brings together a number of spoof stories from that column about the eponymous numerologist and rogue, a practitioner of several of the shady cults described in MG's earlier book. Also of note are his The Annotated Alice (1960), a densely glossed edition of Lewis CARROLL's two Alice books - it is supplemented by More Annotated Alice (1990) - and The Annotated Snark (1962), a similartreatment of Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark (1876 chap).From the launching of ISAAC ASIMOV'S SCIENCE FICTION MAGAZINE (1977) MG had a MATHEMATICS column there, with puzzles often posed in the form of sfstories; many of these have been collected as Science Fiction Puzzle Tales (coll 1981) and Puzzles from Other Worlds (coll 1984). A further volumecollecting sf, fantasy and other stories (not simply puzzle stories) is The No-Sided Professor (coll 1987). Collections of essays, some with an sfconnection, are Order and Surprise (coll 1983) and Gardner's Whys and Wherefores (coll 1989). Logic Machines and Diagrams (1958; rev 1982) alsorefers to sf.
   PN/JE
   See also: DIMENSIONS; PARANOIA.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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