If you prefer Neal Stephenson’s Snow crash to his bestseller Cryptonomicon you may have a fun time reading through Jeff Noon’s Nymphomation.

In a
‘parallel’ 1999’s Manchester, blurbflies (blurb stands for Bio-logical-Ultra-Robotic-Broadcasting-System) fill the air chanting their slogans, especially for _DominoBones_, the new lottery game which is on a year trial run in Manchester before going National.

A group of mathematics students are searching for the hidden mysteries behind the game. Their promotor is Prof. Max(imus) Hackle who has written a series of psychedelic sixties papers in a `journal’ called _Number Gumbo: A Mathemagical Grimoire_ with titles like “The No-Win Labyrinth: A solution to any such Hackle maze”, “Maze Dynamics and DNA Codings, a special theory of
Nymphomation” and “Fourth-Dimensional Orgasms and the Casanova Effect.”

He is also keen on using fun-terminology defining processes happening in the ‘Hackle maze’ and as such is a bit like John Conway. In fact, Conway’s Game of Life is a lot like Hackle’s maze.

There is some statistics and game theory in the book but the plot and ending are that of a good Postcyberpunk
novel, that is rather chaotic depending on possible future technological advances rather than the logical and unescapable ending of a good whodunnit.

After reading Nymphomation, a fly or a game of dominoes will never seem quite the same again.

Another nice feature are the non-sensical beginning sentences of every ‘chapter’. To some they seem like the rantings of a mad mathematician. To me they sound like a tribute to Finnegan’s Wake

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