A reviewer for the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books felt that the poems have a "swinging quality" appropriate for "the light-hearted, chiding messages. During his tenure at Humpty Dumpty's Magazine, Gardner also began a career as science writer. In , he published In the Name of Science, which proved so unpopular at first that it was almost immediately remaindered. Ron Hubbard 's Scientology. Under its new title, the book attracted a faithful readership and has remained in print ever since.
In , Gardner sold his first article to the Scientific American, and by the next year, he was editing the "Mathematical Games" column for the magazine, a position he held for the next quarter of a century, despite the fact that he had not formally studied mathematics since high school. There is no better way to learn anything than to write about it. Gardner's tenure at Scientific American led not only to books of mathematics games, puzzles, and teasers reprinted from the pages of the magazine but also to a career in writing science books.
The collections of his columns were awaited eagerly by recreational mathematicians. Accompanied by diagrams, sketches, and, of course, answers, such puzzles inspired many young readers to enter mathematics as a career. Critics were as charmed by the books as was the public. A reviewer for Library Journal called his Mathematical Carnival "a delightful book," and a contributor for Publishers Weekly felt that same book "can stretch even the most intelligent reader's mind.
Reese noted that the book "provides insights to mathematics together with entertainments. Gardner also compiled columns about a fictional Dr. Matrix, later revised and reprinted as The Incredible Dr.
Reviewing the latter title in the New York Times Book Review, Harry Schwartz noted that the book contained "more fun and mind-stretching than this reviewer has space to suggest or sample. Johnson, reviewing the The Last Recreations: Hydras, Eggs, and Other Mathematical Mystifications in Choice, thought the book was "a welcome addition to the series," but was also saddened by the book's appearance, as it was to be the last of the series.
But not for long.
Martin Gardner - International Wizard of Oz Club
Gardner collected fifty of the best puzzles from his column for the omnibus volume, The Colossal Book of Mathematics: Classic Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Problems. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly commented that Gardner's "elegant style could draw in new aficionados," and claimed that the author remains "a model of clear prose, understated wit, and intellectual honesty. Gardner has also written puzzle books with a specifically young audience in mind. Some of these books were collections of columns Gardner contributed to Isaac Asimov 's Science Fiction Magazine, brain-teasers employing a science fiction story format.
Science-Fiction Puzzle Tales was one product of these contributions, puzzles that are "fun for the recreational logician or amateur detective," according to a reviewer for the Washington Post Book World. A contributor to School Library Journal found the puzzles in that same title "challenging," while Wain Saeger, writing in Voice of Youth Advocates, thought that math teachers would be "delighted" with the book, incorporating such puzzles in "lesson plans to enliven their classes. Ellen M.
Funkhouser, writing in Voice of Youth Advocates, similarly found the title "an excellent selection of brain teasers. Reviewing Perplexing Puzzles in Library Journal, Lina Daukas found the book "stimulating," and a contributor for Publishers Weekly thought it was "the perfect solution for" stimulating children's minds in the summer.
In , Gardner brought out Mind-Boggling Word Puzzles, a book that will "challenge children to think more playfully about language," according to Booklist 's Carolyn Phelan. Gardner has also written on various science topics, from relativity to the nature of the universe. The Ambidextrous Universe has gone through several editions and become a "classic," according to Library Journal 's Gregg Sapp.
Theodore W. Munch, writing in Science Books and Films, also had praise for the book, noting that it "will provide interesting and sometimes exciting reading. Hubisz found the text both "entertaining and humorous," and in a New Yorker review of the second edition, Jeremy Bernstein remarked that the book is filled with "wit and elegance. Some of Gardner's most popular science writing is in the debunking of pseudoscience.
In his first foray into the genre, In the Name of Science, he takes on topics from the flat-earth theory to the mystical powers of the Great Pyramids and extra-sensory perception. Michael Shermer, writing in Scientific American fifty years after the original publication of that book, noted that it "is arguably the skeptic classic of the past half a century. Livada in Kliatt. Gardner has also written the column "Fringe Watcher" for many years in the journal Skeptical Inquirer, and his columns are collected in several book-length editions, as well.
In The New Age, he does battle with topics from biorhythms to psychic surgery and other favorites of New Age thinkers. However, in so doing, according to a reviewer for Publishers Weekly, Gardner "ignores the fact that some of today's mainstream science was yesterday's 'fringe' science. For most writers, such an assortment of writings would be enough for one career, but Gardner has written in other, non-science fields, as well. His first foray into the genre of annotated books was with his beloved L. A long-time fan of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Gardner also realized that much of the best writing in those books would not be understood by modern readers or readers unfamiliar with the particular part of England in which they are set.
He determined to right that wrong, and the result was several annotated books about Alice, the first being The Annotated Alice: "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass. But to Green, the gamble was also "completely successful," and Gardner's annotations were "the perfect demonstration of the art. In , a new edition of The Annotated Alice appeared, and in an even fuller edition appeared, combining the first two books. Reviewing that edition in Library Journal, Thomas L. Cooksey remarked that Gardner's "commentary is sufficiently detailed to be informative without burdening Alice with excessive pedantic baggage.
Thayer's poem in The Annotated "Casey at the Bat. In addition to such annotated editions, Gardner has proved himself an well-regarded essayist in collections such as The Night Is Large: Collected Essays, He is also the author of an early novel, The Flight of Peter Fromm, a book that in part explains his own rejection of religion.
The book deals with the machinations of movie producer Samuel Gold to film "The Emerald City of Oz," an animated movie. Believing Oz is real, Gold sends off an e-mail to Glinda inviting Dorothy and her friends back to Earth to visit. But there are problems with this, for Oz has been removed to a parallel universe and Dorothy must figure out—with the help of Professor Wogglebug—how to get to Earth and back to Oz again. The professor advises the use of a topological structure called a Klein bottle its one-sided surface has neither an inside or outside to help in the adventure.
See a Problem?
At one point Dorothy and company find an entrance to Wonderland and encounter the White Rabbit and other characters from the Carroll tale. Sally Estes, writing in Booklist, felt that Gardner "charmingly sustains the Oz tradition" with this novel. He is, Gopnik continued, "self-educated, opinionated, cranky, and utterly unafraid of embarrassment. Gardner concluded in his interview with Frazier, "I consider myself lucky in being able to earn a living doing what I like best. As my wife long ago realized, I really don't do any work.
Oh no, there's been an error
I just play and get paid for it. Ward, Martha, et al. Kliatt, spring, , Valentin R. Livada, review of Science: Good, Bad, and Bogus, p. Library Journal, September 15, , Susan R. Crockett, review of Mathematical Carnival, p. Matrix, pp. Munch, review of The Ambidextrous Universe, p. Hubisz, review of The New Ambidextrous Universe, p. Come in, you foolish strangers; come in! Being thus urged, they entered the room and approached the table, until they stood where they faced the great Giantess.
She continued eating, but smiled in a curious way as she looked at them. Woot noticed that the door had closed silently after they had entered, and that didn't please him at all. Yoop is a prisoner in a cage in a far-off part of the land of Oz, so we decided there was no one now at home and that we might use the castle for the night.
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People who selfishly objected to Yoop's taking their cows and sheep for his food. I must admit, however, that Yoop had a bad temper, and had the habit of knocking over a few houses, now and then, when he was angry. So one day the little folks came in a great crowd and captured Mr. Yoop, and carried him away to a cage somewhere in the mountains.
Related Visitors from Oz: The Wild Adventures of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodman
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