# Gardner, Martin

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

(1914-2010) US mathematician, amateur conjuror, journalist and author of many books of popular science, along with several volumes of puzzles and games. *In the Name of Science* (**1952**; rev vt *Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science* **1957**) is an iconoclastic and amusing nonfiction book about Pseudoscience: cults, fads and hoaxes existing on the fringes of science, with chapters on Hollow-Earth and flat-Earth theories, pyramidology, UFOs and other subjects. Of particular interest to sf readers may be its references to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Fort, L Ron Hubbard and Richard S Shaver. More recent works in the same debunking line include *Science: Good, Bad and Bogus* (coll **1981**), *The New Age: Notes of a Fringe Watcher* (coll **1988**) and *Weird Water & Fuzzy Logic: More Notes of a Fringe Watcher* (**1996**). A notable non-debunking volume is *The Ambidextrous Universe* (**1964**; final rev vt *The New Ambidextrous Universe: Symmetry and Asymmetry from Mirror Reflections to Superstrings* **1990**), which moves 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 Gardner wrote the **Mathematical Games** column in *Scientific American*, and fifteen collections assembling these pieces have been published, beginning with *The Scientific American Book of Mathematical Puzzles and Diversions* (coll **1959**) [see Checklist for vts] and including *Further Mathematical Diversions: The Paradox of the Unexpected Hanging and Others* (coll **1969**) and *Mathematical Carnival: from Penny Puzzles, Card Shuffles and Tricks of Lightning Calculators to Roller Coaster Rides into the Fourth Dimension* (**1975**); the series ends with *The Last Recreations: Hydras, Eggs, and other Mathematical Mystifications* (coll **1997**), with fifty selections from the entire run of columns appearing as *The Colossal Book of Mathematics: Classic Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Problems* (coll **2001**). Subjects discussed include higher spatial Dimensions, M C Escher's art, Flatland and A K Dewdney's take on the theme, Douglas Hofstadter and Time Travel. *The Numerology of Dr Matrix: The Fabulous Feats and Adventures in Number Theory, Sleight of Word, and Numerological Analysis (Literary, Biblical, Political, Philosophical, and Psychonumeranalytical) of that Incredible Master Mind, First Introduced in the Pages of the Scientific American* (coll **1967**) and its expansions [see Checklist] bring 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 Gardner's debunking books. From the Spring 1977 launch of *Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine* (now Asimov's Science Fiction) until November 1986, Gardner had a Mathematics column there, with puzzles often posed in the form of short-short sf stories; these are collected as *Science Fiction Puzzle Tales* (coll **1981**), *Puzzles from Other Worlds: Fantastical Brainteasers from Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine* (coll **1984**) and *Riddles of the Sphinx and Other Mathematical Puzzle Tales* (coll **1987**). Further collections of essays, some with an sf connection, include *Order and Surprise* (coll **1983**); *Gardner's Whys and Wherefores* (coll **1989**); the substantial retrospective selection *The Night Is Large: Collected Essays 1938-1995* (coll **1996**), whose forty-nine pieces, most with 1996 postscripts, include essays on serious science supplementary to such works as *The Ambidextrous Universe*; and *From the Wandering Jew to William F Buckley Jr: On Science, Literature and Religion* (coll **2000**).

*The No-Sided Professor, and Other Tales of Fantasy, Humor, Mystery, and Philosophy* (coll **1987**) assembles sf, fantasy and other stories (not puzzle stories). As an author/editor of fiction, Gardner is also well-known for *The Annotated Alice* (**1960**), a densely glossed edition of Lewis Carroll's two **Alice** books – it is supplemented by *More Annotated Alice* (**1990**), with both volumes' annotations combined in *The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Version* (**1999**) – and *The Annotated Snark* (**1962**; rev **2006**), a similar treatment of Carroll's *The Hunting of the Snark* (**1876** chap). Gardner's interest in L Frank Baum's **Oz** books was first expressed in an early (possibly the first ever) essay on the author's life, "Royal Historian of Oz" (January-February 1955 F&SF); he later published a Sequel by Other Hands written for adult rather than child **Oz** enthusiasts, *Visitors from Oz: The Wild Adventures of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodman* (**1999**), much of it set in New York, which the characters listed in the subtitle visit in order to publicize a new **Oz** film. The late and eclectic collection *The Jinn from Hyperspace and Other Scribblings – Both Serious and Whimsical* (coll **2008**) includes multiple essays on each of Baum, Carroll and G K Chesterton. His autobiography *Undiluted Hocus-Pocus: The Autobiography of Martin Gardner* (**2013**) appeared posthumously.

Gardner's career was astonishingly wide-ranging, and that touching on science fiction was only a small fraction of it. Others of his more than fifty books cover topics such as Religion – perhaps most interestingly in the picaresque novel, composed mostly of discussions, *The Flight of Peter Fromm* (**1973**) – philosophy, Politics, and History. If one thread links all his work, it is that there is no end to the fascination that can be gained from subjecting the world to the rational mind. [JC/JE/GS/DRL]

**see also:** Antimatter; Chess; Paranoia; SETI.

### Martin Gardner

**born** Tulsa, Oklahoma: 21 October 1914

**died** Norman, Oklahoma: 22 May 2010

**works** (selected)

**series**

**Mathematical Games**

*The Scientific American Book of Mathematical Puzzles and Diversions*(New York: Simon and Schuster,**1959**) [nonfiction: coll:**Mathematical Games**: hb/]*Mathematical Puzzles and Diversions from Scientific American*(London: G Bell and Sons,**1961**) [nonfiction: coll: vt of the above:**Mathematical Games**: hb/]*Mathematical Puzzles and Diversions*(Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Pelican,**1965**) [nonfiction: coll: vt of the above:**Mathematical Games**: pb/Frederick Price]*Hexaflexagons and Other Mathematical Diversions: The First Scientific American Book of Puzzles and Games*(Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press,**1988**) [nonfiction: coll: vt of the above:**Mathematical Games**: pb/]

*More Mathematical Puzzles and Diversions*(New York: Simon and Schuster,**1962**) [nonfiction: coll: hb/]*New Mathematical Diversions from Scientific American*(New York: Simon and Schuster,**1966**) [nonfiction: coll:**Mathematical Games**: hb/]*The Numerology of Dr Matrix: The Fabulous Feats and Adventures in Number Theory, Sleight of Word, and Numerological Analysis (Literary, Biblical, Political, Philosophical, and Psychonumeranalytical) of that Incredible Master Mind, First Introduced in the Pages of the Scientific American*(New York: Simon and Schuster,**1967**) [nonfiction: coll:**Mathematical Games**: hb/]*The Incredible Dr. Matrix*(New York: Charles Scribner's Sons,**1976**) [nonfiction: coll: exp vt of the above:**Mathematical Games**: hb/Charles Henry Demuth]*The Magic Numbers of Dr. Matrix*(Buffalo, New York: Prometheus Books,**1985**) [nonfiction: coll: further exp vt of the above:**Mathematical Games**: hb/Tod Martin]

*Further Mathematical Diversions: The Paradox of the Unexpected Hanging and Others*(New York: Simon and Schuster,**1969**) [nonfiction: coll:**Mathematical Games**: hb/]*The Unexpected Hanging and Other Mathematical Diversions: With a New Afterword and Expanded Bibliography*(Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press,**1991**) [nonfiction: coll: exp vt of the above:**Mathematical Games**: hb/]

*Martin Gardner's Sixth Book of Mathematical Games from Scientific American*(San Francisco, California: W H Freeman,**1971**) [nonfiction: coll: hb/]*Martin Gardner's Sixth Book of Mathematical Diversions from Scientific American*(Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press,**1983**) [nonfiction: coll: vt of the above:**Mathematical Games**: pb/]

*Mathematical Carnival: from Penny Puzzles, Card Shuffles and Tricks of Lightning Calculators to Roller Coaster Rides into the Fourth Dimension*(New York: Alfred A Knopf,**1975**) [nonfiction: coll:**Mathematical Games**: hb/]*Mathematical Magic Show*(New York: Alfred A Knopf,**1977**) [nonfiction: coll:**Mathematical Games**: hb/]*Mathematical Circus*(New York: Alfred A Knopf,**1979**) [nonfiction: coll:**Mathematical Games**: hb/]*Wheels, Life and Other Mathematical Amusements*(New York: W H Freeman,**1983**) [nonfiction: coll:**Mathematical Games**: hb/R William Gosper]*Knotted Doughnuts and Other Mathematical Entertainments*(New York: W H Freeman,**1986**) [nonfiction: coll:**Mathematical Games**: pb/Thomas Banchoff]*Time Travel and Other Mathematical Bewilderments*(New York: W H Freeman,**1988**) [nonfiction: coll:**Mathematical Games**: hb/Lynn Pieroni]*Penrose Tiles to Trapdoor Ciphers*(New York: W H Freeman,**1989**) [nonfiction: coll:**Mathematical Games**: pb/uncredited]*Fractal Music, Hypercards and More*(New York: W H Freeman,**1992**) [nonfiction: coll:**Mathematical Games**: hb/Thomas Banchoff and Davide Cervone]*The Last Recreations: Hydras, Eggs, and other Mathematical Mystifications*(Berlin: Springer Verlag,**1997**) [nonfiction: coll:**Mathematical Games**: hb/]*The Colossal Book of Mathematics: Classic Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Problems*(Scranton, Pennsylvania: W W Norton and Company,**2001**) [coll: 50 selections taken from all the above except*The Numerology of Dr Matrix*:**Mathematical Games**: hb/]

**Puzzles for Asimov's**

*Science Fiction Puzzle Tales*(New York: C N Potter,**1981**) [nonfiction, often couched as fiction: coll:**Puzzles for Asimov's**: hb/Jan Sawka]*Puzzles from Other Worlds: Fantastical Brainteasers from Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine*(New York: Vintage Books,**1984**) [nonfiction, often couched as fiction: coll:**Puzzles for Asimov's**: pb/]*Riddles of the Sphinx and Other Mathematical Puzzle Tales*(Washington, District of Columbia: The Mathematical Association of America,**1987**) [nonfiction, often couched as fiction: coll:**Puzzles for Asimov's**: pb/John Johnson]

**individual titles: fiction**

*The Flight of Peter Fromm*(Los Altos, California: William Kaufmann,**1973**) [hb/Richard Forster]*The No-Sided Professor, and Other Tales of Fantasy, Humor, Mystery, and Philosophy*(Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books,**1987**) [coll: fiction, plus nonfiction couched as fiction: hb/Steve Chalker]*Visitors from Oz: The Wild Adventures of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodman*(New York: St Martin's Press,**1999**) [**Oz**: hb/Ted Enik]

**individual titles: nonfiction** (highly selected)

*In the Name of Science*(New York: Putnam,**1952**) [nonfiction: coll: examining Pseudoscience: hb/]*Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science*(New York: Dover Publications,**1957**) [nonfiction: coll: exp vt of the above: pb/]

*Logic Machines and Diagrams*(New York: McGraw-Hill,**1958**) [nonfiction: hb/]*The Ambidextrous Universe*(New York: Basic Books,**1964**) [nonfiction: hb/]*The New Ambidextrous Universe: Symmetry and Asymmetry from Mirror Reflections to Superstrings*(New York: W H Freeman,**1990**) [nonfiction: rev vt of the above: note that previous revisions were published of the above: hb/]

*The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener*(New York: Morrow,**1983**) [nonfiction: philosophical/theological: hb/]*Undiluted Hocus-Pocus: The Autobiography of Martin Gardner*(Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press,**2013**) [nonfiction: hb/photographic]

**nonfiction collections**

*Science: Good, Bad and Bogus*(Buffalo, New York: Prometheus Books,**1981**) [nonfiction: coll: examining Pseudoscience: hb/]*Order and Surprise*(Buffalo, New York: Prometheus Books,**1983**) [nonfiction: coll: hb/]*The New Age: Notes of a Fringe Watcher*(Buffalo, New York: Prometheus Books,**1988**) [nonfiction: coll: examining Pseudoscience: hb/Rand Schuster]*Gardner's Whys and Wherefores*(Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press,**1989**) [nonfiction: coll: hb/uncredited]*On the Wild Side*(Buffalo, New York: Prometheus Books,**1992**) [nonfiction: coll: hb/nonpictorial]*The Night Is Large: Collected Essays 1938-1995*(New York: St Martin's Press,**1996**) [nonfiction: coll: hb/Claudine Guerguerian from Louisa Chase]*Weird Water & Fuzzy Logic: More Notes of a Fringe Watcher*(Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books,**1996**) [nonfiction: coll: examining Pseudoscience: hb/Kevin Miller]*From the Wandering Jew to William F Buckley Jr: On Science, Literature and Religion*(Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books,**2000**) [nonfiction: coll: hb/nonpictorial]*The Jinn from Hyperspace and Other Scribblings – Both Serious and Whimsical*(Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books,**2008**) [nonfiction: coll: hb/photographic]

**works as editor** (selected)

- Lewis Carroll.
*The Annotated Alice*(New York: Clarkson Potter,**1960**) [omni: heavily annotated edition of the texts: hb/]- Lewis Carroll.
*More Annotated Alice*(New York: Random House,**1990**) [omni: a newly annotated edition of the text: hb/]- Lewis Carroll.
*The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Version*(New York: W W Norton and Co,**1999**) [combines annotations from both the above: hb/]

- Lewis Carroll.

- Lewis Carroll.
- Lewis Carroll.
*The Annotated Snark*(New York: Simon and Schuster,**1962**) [poem: heavily annotated: hb/]*The Annotated Hunting of the Snark: The Definitive Edition*(New York: W W Norton and Company,**2006**) [rev vt of the above: intervening revs not here listed: full commentary, but text not edited: illus/various artists: hb/from Henry Holiday]

*The Wreck of the Titanic Foretold?*(Buffalo, New York: Prometheus Books,**1986**) [anth: Titanic: hb/]*The Wreck of the Titanic Foretold?*(Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books,**1998**) [anth: rev of the above: Titanic: hb/photographic]

**links**

**previous versions of this entry**