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Gardner, Martin 1914-

GARDNER, Martin 1914-

PERSONAL: Born October 21, 1914, in Tulsa, OK; son of James Henry and Willie (Spiers) Gardner; married Charlotte Creenwald, October 17, 1952; children: James Emmett, Thomas Owen. Education: University of Chicago, B.A., 1936. Hobbies and other interests: Magic, chess, musical saw.

ADDRESSES: Home—3001 Chestnut Rd., Hendersonville, NC 28792.

CAREER: Journalist and writer. Reporter for Tulsa Tribune; public relations staffer for University of Chicago; Humpty Dumpty's Magazine, New York, NY, contributing editor, 1952-62; Scientific American, New York, NY, writer of mathematical games, 1957-82. Military service: U.S. Naval Reserve, 1942-46.

MEMBER: Mathematical Association of America (honorary life member); American Mathematical Society (honorary life member).

AWARDS, HONORS: Professional Achievement Award, University of Chicago, 1971; annual award of the Academy of Magic Arts, California, 1975; honorary doctorate, Bucknell University, 1978; asteroid discovered in 1980 named "Gardner" by the Anderson Mesa Station of Lowell Observatory, 1982; U.S. Steel Foundation Prize for Science Writing, American Institute of Physics, 1983; Steele Prize for Mathematical Writing, American Mathematical Society, 1987; annual David Hilbert International Award (Australia) for mathematics, 1992; honorary doctorate, Furman University, 1993.

WRITINGS:

Twelve Tricks with a Borrowed Deck, illustrated by Tarbell, L. L. Ireland (Chicago, IL), 1940.

In the Name of Science, Putnam (New York, NY), 1952, revised edition published as Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, Dover (Mineola, NY), 1957.

Mathematics, Magic, and Mystery, Dover (Mineola, NY), 1956.

Logic Machines and Diagrams, McGraw (New York, NY), 1958, revised edition published as Logic Machines, Diagrams, and Boolean Algebra, Dover (Mineola, NY), 1968, further revised edition, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1982.

The Scientific American Book of Mathematical Puzzles and Diversions, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1959, revised edition published as Hexaflexagons and Other Mathematical Diversions: The First Scientific American Book of Puzzles and Games, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1988.

The Arrow Book of Brain Teasers, Scholastic (Chicago, IL), 1959.

Science Puzzlers, illustrated by Anthony Ravielli, Viking (New York, NY), 1960, published as Entertaining Science Experiments with Everyday Objects, Dover (Mineola, NY), 1981.

The Second Scientific American Book of Mathematical Puzzles and Diversions, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1961, revised edition, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1987.

Mathematical Puzzles, illustrated by Anthony Ravielli, Crowell (New York, NY), 1961, reprinted as Entertaining Mathematical Puzzles, Dover (Mineola, NY), 1986.

Relativity for the Millions, illustrated by Anthony Ravielli, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1962, revised edition published as The Relativity Explosion, Random House (Chicago, IL), 1976, published as Relativitiy Simply Explained, Dover (Mineola, NY), 1997.

The Ambidextrous Universe, illustrated by John Mackey, Basic Books (New York, NY), 1964, revised edition, New American Library (New York, NY), 1979, further revised edition published as The New Ambidextrous Universe: Symmetry and Asymmetry from Mirror Reflections to Super-strings, W. H. Freeman (New York, NY), 1990.

Archimedes, Mathematician and Inventor, illustrated by Leonard E. Fisher, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1965.

New Mathematical Diversions from Scientific American, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1966.

The Numerology of Dr. Matrix, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1967, revised edition published as The Incredible Dr. Matrix, Scribner (New York, NY), 1975, further revised edition published as The Magic Numbers of Dr. Matrix, Prometheus (Amherst, NY), 1985.

The Unexpected Hanging, and Other Mathematical Diversions, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1969, revised edition, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1991.

Perplexing Puzzles and Tantalizing Teasers, illustrated by Laszlo Kubinyi, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1969, reprinted under the same title with the addition of More Perplexing Puzzles and Tantalizing Teasers, Dover (New York, NY), 1988.

Never Make Fun of a Turtle, My Son, illustrated by John Alcorn, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1969.

Space Puzzles, illustrated by Ted Schroeder, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1971, reprinted as Puzzling Questions about the Solar System, Dover (Mineola, NY), 1997.

The Sixth Book of Mathematical Games from Scientific American, W. H. Freeman (New York, NY), 1971, revised edition published as The Sixth Book of Mathematical Diversions from Scientific American, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1983.

Codes, Ciphers, and Secret Writing, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1972.

The Flight of Peter Fromm (novel), William Kaufmann (Los Altos, CA), 1973.

The Snark Puzzle Book, illustrated by Henry Holiday and John Tenniel, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1973.

Mathematical Carnival, Knopf (New York, NY), 1975, revised edition, Mathematical Association of America (Washington, DC), 1992.

Mathematical Magic Show, Knopf (New York, NY) 1977, revised edition, Mathematical Association of America (Washington, DC), 1990.

More Perplexing Puzzles and Tantalizing Teasers (also see above), illustrated by Laszlo Kubinyi, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1977.

The Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic, Magic, Inc. (Chicago, IL), 1978.

Aha! Insight, W. H. Freeman (New York, NY), 1978.

Mathematical Circus, Knopf (New York, NY) 1979, revised edition, Mathematical Association of America (Washington, DC), 1992.

Science: Good, Bad, and Bogus, Prometheus (Amherst, NY), 1981.

How Not to Test a Psychic: A Study of the Unusual Experiments with Renowned Clairvoyant Pavel Stepanek, Prometheus (Amherst, NY), 1981.

Aha, Gotcha! Paradoxes to Puzzle and Delight, W. H. Freeman (New York, NY), 1982.

Order and Surprise, Prometheus (Amherst, NY), 1983.

Science-Fiction Puzzle Tales, Clarkson N. Potter (New York, NY), 1983.

Wheels, Life, and Other Mathematical Amusements, W. H. Freeman (New York, NY), 1983.

The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener, Morrow (New York, NY), 1983.

Puzzles from Other Worlds, Vintage (New York, NY), 1984.

Knotted Doughnuts and Other Mathematical Entertainments, W. H. Freeman (New York, NY), 1986.

Riddles of the Sphinx and Other Mathematical Puzzle Tales, Mathematical Association of America (Washington, DC), 1987.

The No-Sided Professor and Other Tales of Fantasy, Humor, Mystery, and Philosophy, Prometheus (Amherst, NY), 1987.

The New Age: Notes of a Fringe-Watcher, Prometheus (Amherst, NY), 1988.

Time Travel and Other Mathematical Bewilderments, W. H. Freeman (New York, NY), 1988.

Penrose Tiles to Trapdoor Ciphers: Essays on Recreational Mathematics, W. H. Freeman (New York, NY), 1989, expanded edition published as Penrose Tiles to Trapdoor Ciphers, . . . and The Return of Dr. Matrix, Mathematical Association of America (Washington, DC), 1997.

Gardner's Whys and Wherefores, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1989.

(With Bart Whaley and Jeff Busby) The Man Who Was Erdnase, Jeff Busby Magic (Oakland, CA), 1991.

On the Wild Side: The Big Bang, ESP, the Beast 666, Levitation, Rain Making, Trance-Channeling, Seances and Ghosts, and More, Prometheus (Amherst, NY), 1992.

Fractal Music, Hypercards, and More: Mathematical Recreations from Scientific American, W. H. Freeman (New York, NY), 1992.

The Healing Revelations of Mary Baker Eddy: The Rise and Fall of Christian Science, Prometheus (Amherst, NY), 1993.

Martin Gardner Presents, Richard Kaufman (Silver Spring, MD), 1993.

Classic Brainteasers, Sterling (New York, NY), 1994.

My Best Mathematical and Logic Puzzles, Dover (New York, NY), 1994.

Urantia: The Great Cult Mystery, Prometheus Books (Amherst, NY), 1995.

The Night Is Large: Collected Essays, 1938-1995, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1996.

Weird Water and Fuzzy Logic: More Notes of a Fringe Watcher, Prometheus Books (Amherst, NY), 1996.

The Universe in a Handkerchief: Lewis Carroll's Mathematical Recreations, Games, Puzzles, and Word Plays, Copernicus (New York, NY), 1996.

Science Magic: Martin Gardner's Tricks and Puzzles, illustrated by Tom Jorgenson, Sterling Publishing (New York, NY), 1997.

The Last Recreations: Hydras, Eggs, and Other Mathematical Mystifications, Copernicus (New York, NY), 1997.

Martin Gardner's Table Magic, Dover (Mineola, NY), 1998.

Visitors from Oz: The Wild Adventures of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodman (novel), illustrated by Ted Enik, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Mental Magic: Surefire Tricks to Amaze Your Friends, illustrated by Jeff Sinclair, Sterling (New York, NY), 1999.

Match Magic: More Than Seventy Impromptu Tricks Matches, Piccadilly Books (Colorado Springs, CO), 1999.

Did Adam and Eve Have Navels?: Discourses on Reflexology, Numerology, Urine Therapy & Other Dubious Subjects, W. W. Norton (New York, NY), 2000.

From the Wandering Jew to William F. Buckley, Jr.: On Science, Literature, and Religion, Prometheus Books (Amherst, NY), 2000.

Mathematical Puzzle Tales, Mathematical Association of America (Washington, DC), 2000.

The Colossal Book of Mathematics: Classic Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Problems, Norton (New York, NY), 2001.

A Gardner's Workout: Training the Mind and the Spirit, A. K. Peters (Natick, MA), 2001.

Mind-Boggling Word Puzzles, illustrated by V. G. Myers, Sterling (New York, NY), 2001.

Are Universes Thicker Than Blackberries? Discourses on Gödel, Magic Hexagrams, Little Red Riding Hood, and Other Mathematical and Pseudoscience Topics, W. W. Norton (New York, NY), 2003.

EDITOR

(With Russel B. Nye) The Wizard of Oz and Who He Was, Michigan State University Press (East Lansing, MI), 1957.

Great Essays in Science, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1957, revised edition published as The Sacred Beetle and Other Great Essays in Science, Prometheus (Amherst, NY), 1984.

Sam Loyd, Best Mathematical Puzzles of Sam Loyd, Dover (Mineola, NY), Volume I, 1957, Volume II, 1960.

Lewis Carroll, The Annotated Alice: "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass," Clarkson N. Potter (New York, NY), 1960, reprinted under the same title with the addition of More Annotated Alice, W. W. Norton (New York, NY), 2000.

Charles C. Bombaugh, Oddities and Curiosities of Words and Literature, Dover (Mineola, NY), 1961.

Lewis Carroll, The Annotated Snark, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1962.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Annotated Ancient Mariner, Clarkson N. Potter (New York, NY), 1965.

Lewis Carroll, The Nursery "Alice," McGraw (New York, NY), 1966.

Rudolf Carnap, Philosophical Foundations of Physics, Basic Books (New York, NY), 1966, revised edition published as An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science, 1974.

E. L. Thayer, The Annotated "Casey at the Bat": A Collection of Ballads about the Mighty Casey, Clarkson N. Potter (New York, NY), 1967.

Henry E. Dudeney, Five Hundred Thirty-six Puzzles and Curious Problems, Scribner (New York, NY), 1967.

Boris Kordemski, Moscow Puzzles, Scribner (New York, NY), 1971.

Koban Fujimura, The Tokyo Puzzles, Scribner (New York, NY), 1978.

Lewis Carroll, The Wasp in a Wig, Clarkson N. Potter (New York, NY), 1978.

The Wreck of the Titanic Foretold?, Prometheus (Amherst, NY), 1986.

Gilbert K. Chesterton, The Annotated Innocence of Father Brown, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1987.

Lewis Carroll, More Annotated Alice (also see above), Random House (Chicago, IL), 1990.

Clement Clarke Moore, The Annotated "Night before Christmas," Summit (New York, NY), 1991.

Best Remembered Poems, Dover (Mineola, NY), 1992.

Famous Poems from Bygone Days, Dover (Mineola, NY), 1995.

H. G. Wells, "The Country of the Blind" and Other Science-Fiction Stories, Dover Publications (Mineola, NY), 1997.

Silvanus P. Thompson, Calculus Made Easy: Being a Very-Simplest Introduction to Those Beautiful Methods of Reckoning Which Are Generally Called by the Terrifying Names of the Differential Calculus and the Integral Calculus, with new material by Gardner, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Gilbert K. Chesterton, The Annotated Thursday: G. K. Chesterton's Masterpiece, "The Man Who Was Thursday," Ignatius Press (San Francisco, CA), 1999.

Martin Gardner's Favorite Poetic Parodies, Prometheus (Amherst, NY), 2001.

SIDELIGHTS: "Over his several decades of writing, [Martin] Gardner has accomplished so much it's hard to believe there's just one of him," wrote a critic for Publishers Weekly in a review of Gardner's year 2000 title From the Wandering Jew to William F. Buckley Jr.: On Science, Literature, and Religion. That eclectic title stands as a representation of Gardner's sixty-plus books on topics from a debunking of UFOs and pseudoscience, to complex math and science topics and games, to annotations of Alice in Wonderland and the authoring of children's books. "Careers in modern society are largely predictable," wrote Dennis Flanagan in American Scientist. "Lawyer, doctor, businessman, scientist—so it goes. But who could possibly have predicted the career of Martin Gardner? Even Gardner couldn't have, although in time he invented it himself. And what an invention!"

Gardner is a polymath, a one-of-a-kind in American publishing, say reviewers. Kendrick Frazier, in an interview with Gardner for the Skeptical Inquirer, noted that Gardner's mind is "highly philosophical, at home with the most abstract concepts, yet his thinking and writing crackle with clarity—lively, crisp, vivid. He achieved worldwide fame and respect for the three decades of his highly popular mathematical games column for Scientific American, yet he is not a mathematician. He is by every standard an eminent intellectual, yet he has no Ph.D. or academic position." Despite not having studied science or mathematics, Gardner has written widely on both subjects, in such popular books as The Ambidextrous Universe and The Relativity Explosion, and his columns from the Scientific American have been collected in numerous books.

Additionally, Gardner is, according to Frazier, "the leading light of the modern skeptical movement," pioneering the field of debunking pseudoscience with his 1952 publication In the Name of Science. Since then he has gone on to author numerous other titles in the same vein, such as Science: Good, Bad, and Bogus and The New Age: Notes of a Fringe-Watcher. Beyond such science and mathematics titles, Gardner is best known for his work on annotated texts, especially for his The Annotated Alice: "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." According to Morton N. Cohen, writing in Victorian Studies, Gardner "deserves credit for establishing the 'annotated text' as we know it today." With over a million copies sold, The Annotated Alice has given birth to an entire genre of such annotated texts, by Gardner and others. Lastly, the energetic and prolific Gardner has also written children's poetry and novels, including the 1998 homage to L. Frank Baum, Visitors from Oz: The Wild Adventures of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodman. Gardner, however, is humble about his achievements. Speaking with Frazier, he labeled himself "a journalist who writes mainly about math and science, and a few other fields of interest." Michael Dirda, writing in the Skeptical Inquirer, saw it differently. "If Edmund Wilson was, as they say, the principal American man of letters in our time," Dirda wrote, "then Martin Gardner must be our leading man of numbers."

Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1914, Gardner grew up with a profound love of books. Gardner once told CA: "As a small child my greatest reading experiences were books of L. Frank Baum. I have tried to repay him by writing about him in books and magazines, and doing the introductions for a continuing series of Dover paperback reprints that now includes Baum's first two Oz books and five of his early non-Oz fantasies. There is no question that Baum was our country's greatest writer of juvenile fantasy, and it is one of the scandals of American letters that only in recent decades has this been recognized by critics and librarians. I am proud to have played a role in hastening this inevitable recognition." When not reading, young Gardner was busy learning magic tricks, playing chess, or playing tennis. Of the three, Gardner has continued with magic throughout his life.

Gardner entered the University of Chicago in 1932, intending to transfer to California Institute of Technology later on and study to become a physicist. However, the intellectually rigorous and varied curriculum he studied at Chicago changed all this. Reading the great works from Plato to Freud, Gardner soon found his home in philosophy, losing in the process, as he noted in his The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener, an "ugly Protestant fundamentalism" which he had inherited from his mother. Gardner was a staunch believer in creationism when he entered college; reading modern geology helped him to put that belief in doubt. By the time he graduated, he had lost his faith in Christianity. After graduation, Gardner stayed on at the university for a time but had no intention of studying for an advanced degree. By this time he had already made up his mind that he wanted to be a writer, not an academic. A short sojourn as a reporter took him back to Oklahoma, where he worked for the Tulsa Tribune, but then he returned to the University of Chicago to work in the press relations office. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Naval Reserve for four years.

Gardner began his freelance writing career after the war, selling his first story to Esquire. For two years, he supported himself on the sale of humorous pieces to that magazine, including "The No-Side Professor," a take-off on topology. He also continued to study, taking a course from the Viennese logical positivist Rudolf Carnap, who taught that metaphysical questions were in fact meaningless; that is, there was no scientific proof for such questions, and they could only be debated on an emotional level. Many years later, Gardner helped to transcribe Carnap's lecture notes in An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science. Such rigorous training in what could and could not be done with language was to prove invaluable in Gardner's later work.

Meanwhile, however, the ever-flexible Gardner became a contributing editor to the children's periodical Humpty Dumpty's Magazine for nearly a decade, providing not only stories but also poems for each issue. His poetry was collected in the 1969 Never Make Fun of a Turtle, My Son, twenty pieces of verse dealing with moral advice to young readers. 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." Gardner advises on themes from sharing to shopping to watching television.

During his tenure at Humpty Dumpty's Magazine, Gardner also began a career as science writer. In 1952, he published In the Name of Science, which proved so unpopular at first that it was almost immediately remaindered. Five years later, Dover reprinted the book under the title Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, in which Gardner attacked such pseudoscience as UFOs and L. Ron Hubbard's Scientology. Under its new title, the book attracted a faithful readership and has remained in print ever since. In 1956, 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. "Had I known I would be writing some day a column on math, I would have taken some math courses [at university]," Gardner told Frazier. "If you look over my Scientific American columns you will see that they get progressively more sophisticated as I began reading math books and learning more about the subject. 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. Books such as Mathematical Carnival, Knotted Doughnuts and Other Mathematical Entertainments, Time Travel and Other Mathematical Bewilderments, and Fractal Music, Hypercards, and More attracted thousands of loyal readers to Gardner's puzzles. 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." Another reviewer for Publishers Weekly called Gardner's Mathematical Magic Show "a heady romp." A contributor for Choice felt that Wheels, Life, and Other Mathematical Amusements "matches the high standards of his other books." A Booklist writer also had praise for this title, noting that Gardner's "excitement and enjoyment are irresistibly infectious." Reviewing his Knotted Doughnuts in Science Books and Films, Matthias F. Reese noted that the book "provides insights to mathematics together with entertainments." Time Travel, according to a Booklist contributor, features Gardner's "usual sharp wit and self-deprecating humor amid mathematical brainteasers."

Gardner also compiled columns about a fictional Dr. Matrix from his Scientific American columns in books such as The Numerology of Dr. Matrix, later revised and reprinted as The Incredible Dr. Matrix. 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." And J. Johnson, reviewing the 1997 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. "Martin Gardner, you will be greatly missed!" Johnson concluded. But not for long. Gardner collected fifty of the best puzzles from his column for the 2001 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." Puzzles from Other Worlds are also sci-fi based, a collection of puzzles and teasers that "will exercise even the brainiest," according to a Washington Post Book World reviewer. Ellen M. Funkhouser, writing in Voice of Youth Advocates, similarly found the title "an excellent selection of brain teasers." Gardner presents other puzzles for younger readers in Perplexing Puzzles and Tantalizing Teasers and Puzzling Questions about the Solar System. 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 2001, 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." Reviewing the third edition of the book in Science Books and Films, John L. 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." Further titles in the sciences from Gardner include Logic Machines and Diagrams and The Relativity Explosion, a layperson's guide to the theories of Albert Einstein.

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." Gardner tackles UFOs and the theories of Immanuel Velikovsky in Science, a book that helps young readers "differentiate between real science and fake," according to Valentin R. 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." More of his Skeptical Inquirer columns are served up in Did Adam and Eve Have Navels?: Discourses on Reflexology, Numerology, Urine Therapy & Other Dubious Subjects, and Gardner also attempts to expose religious fakery in titles such as Urantia: The Great Cult Mystery.

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. Frank Baum in The Wizard of Oz and Who He Was. 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." That book, according to Benny Green, writing in the Spectator, was a "reckless . . . gamble," for with such annotations Gardner risked over-explaining the text. But to Green, the gamble was also "completely successful," and Gardner's annotations were "the perfect demonstration of the art." Gardner went on to other Carroll titles, including The Annotated Snark and The Wasp and the Wig. In 1990, a new edition of The Annotated Alice appeared, and in 2000 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." Gardner has gone on to annotate other writers, from Gilbert K. Chesterton and his "Father Brown," to Samuel Taylor Coleridge in The Annotated Ancient Mariner and E. L. 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, 1938-1995. 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. In 1998, Gardner published a sequel to Baum's Oz tale with Visitors from Oz, a "winner," according to a critic for Kirkus Reviews. 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. 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.

"Gardner has an old-fashioned, almost nineteenth-century, Oliver Wendell Holmes kind of mind," wrote Adam Gopnik in the New York Times Book Review. He is, Gopnik continued, "self-educated, opinionated, cranky, and utterly unafraid of embarrassment." These qualities, along with an ever-inquisitive mind, have helped to make Gardner the prolific author his is, claim critics. 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. I just play and get paid for it."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes, A Capella Press (Chicago, IL), 1993.

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, edited by John Clute and Peter Nicholls, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1993.

Gardner, Martin, The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener, Morrow (New York, NY), 1983.

Science Fiction & Fantasy Literature, 1975-1991, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1992.

Ward, Martha, et al., Authors of Books for Young People, 3rd edition, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ), 1990.

PERIODICALS

American Scientist, January-February, 1997, Thomas Banchoff, review of The Universe in a Handkerchief: Lewis Carroll's Mathematical Recreations, Games, Puzzles, and Word Plays, pp. 86-87; January-February, 2002, Dennis Flanagan, review of The Colossal Book of Mathematics: Classic Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Problems, pp. 74-76.

Booklist, June 15, 1969, review of Perplexing Puzzles and Tantalizing Teasers, p. 1174; February 15, 1984, review of Wheels, Life, and Other Mathematical Amusements, p. 839; January 15, 1988, review of Time Travel and Other Mathematical Bewilderments, p. 822; July, 1996, Benjamin Segedin, review of The Night Is Large: Collected Essays, 1938-1995, p. 1796; September 15, 1998, Sally Estes, review of Visitors from Oz: The Wild Adventures of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodman, p. 206; September 15, 2000, Gilbert Taylor, review of Did Adam and Eve Have Navels?: Discourses on Reflexology, Numerology, Urine Therapy & Other Dubious Subjects, p. 196; September 1, 2001, Carolyn Phelan, review of Mind-Boggling Word Puzzles, p. 99.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, May, 1969, review of Never Make Fun of a Turtle, My Son, p. 142.

Choice, February, 1984, review of Wheels, Life, and Other Mathematical Amusements, p. 853; May, 1998, J. Johnson, review of The Last Recreations: Hydras, Eggs, and Other Mathematical Mystifications, p. 1566.

Insight on the News, January 10, 2000, Rex Roberts, "Explicating Alice," p. 32.

Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 1996, review of The Night Is Large, p. 663; September 15, 1998, review of Visitors from Oz, p. 1310.

Kliatt, spring, 1983, Valentin R. Livada, review of Science: Good, Bad, and Bogus, p. 54.

Library Journal, September 15, 1969, Susan R. Morris, review of Never Make Fun of a Turtle, My Son, p. 3204; October 15, 1969, Lina Daukas, review of Perplexing Puzzles and Tantalizing Teasers, p. 3820; March 1, 1976, Edith S. Crockett, review of Mathematical Carnival, p. 665; March 1, 1991, Gregg Sapp, review of The New Ambidextrous Universe, p. 63; April 15, 1995, Sandra Collins, review of Urantia, p. 81; June 15, 1995, Harry Frumerman, review of The Night Is Large, pp. 65-66; December, 1999, Thomas L. Cooksey, review of The Annotated Alice: "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass," p. 130; November 15, 2000, Lloyd Davidson, review of Did Adam and Eve Have Navels?, p. 93.

New Yorker, October 8, 1979, Jeremy Bernstein, review of The Ambidextrous Universe, pp. 169-174, 177.

New York Times Book Review, November 7, 1976, Harry Schwartz, review of The Incredible Dr. Matrix, pp. 6-7; December 5, 1999, Adam Gopnik, review of The Annotated Alice, pp. 62, 64.

Odyssey, October, 2003, Barbara Krasner-Khait, "Martin Gardner: Recreational Math Master," p. 22.

Publishers Weekly, June 2, 1969, review of Perplexing Puzzles and Tantalizing Teasers, p. 136; September 15, 1975, review of Mathematical Carnival, p. 50; August 8, 1977, review of Mathematical Magic Show, pp. 61-62; March 11, 1988, review of The New Age, p. 91; August 19, 1996, review of Weird Water and Fuzzy Logic, p. 47; August 24, 1998, review of Visitors from Oz, p. 47; December 20, 1999, review of The Annotated Alice, p. 18; August 28, 2000, review of Did Adam and Eve Have Navels?, p. 63; August 28, 2000, review of From the Wandering Jew to William F. Buckley Jr.: On Science, Literature, and Religion, p. 63; July 30, 2002, review of The Colossal Book of Mathematics, p. 76; June 2, 2003, review of Are Universes Thicker Than Blackberries? Discourses on Gödel, Magic Hexagrams, Little Red Riding Hood, and Other Mathematical and Pseudoscience Topics, p. 45.

School Library Journal, October, 1981, review of Science-Fiction Puzzle Tales, p. 165.

Science Books and Films, January, 1981, Theodore W. Munch, review of The Ambidextrous Universe, p. 129; May, 1987, Matthias F. Reese, review of Knotted Doughnuts and Other Mathematical Entertainments, pp. 302-303; January, 1991, John L. Hubisz, review of The New Ambidextrous Universe, p. 6.

Scientific American, March, 2002, Michael Shermer, "Hermits and Cranks," pp. 36-37.

Skeptical Inquirer, November-December, 1996, Michael Dirda, review of The Night Is Large, pp. 47-48; March-April, 1998, Kendrick Frazier, "A Mind at Play: An Interview with Martin Gardner," pp. 34-39; November-December, 2001, Mark Durm, "Lucid Commentaries with Something to Say," p. 62.

Spectator, October 5, 1974, Benny Green, review of The Annotated Alice, p. 439.

Victorian Studies, spring, 2001, Morton N. Cohen, review of The Annotated Alice, p. 473.

Voice of Youth Advocates, October, 1981, Wain Saeger, review of Science-Fiction Puzzle Tales, p. 42; February, 1985, Ellen M. Funkhouser, review of Puzzles from Other Worlds, p. 344.

Washington Post Book World, July 26, 1981, review of Science-Fiction Puzzle Tales, p. 8; August 26, 1984, review of Puzzles from Other Worlds, p. 12; December 1, 1991, review of The Annotated "Night before Christmas," p. 14; January 3, 1998, Michele Slung, review of Visitors from Oz, pp. 11, 13; December 24, 2000, Michael Dirda, review of Did Adam and Eve Have Navels?, p. 15.

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