Pataphysics means "beyond metaphysics", coming from the Greek [epi meta ta fusika], and the French ['Pataphysique, influenced by the pun on "patte …physique"]. It is the science of imaginary solutions that studies the exceptions rather than laws and aspires to provide imaginary solutions to practical problems.
It is found in the ancient writings of Ibicrate the Geometer and Sophrotatos the Armenian. It was rediscovered in modern times inUbu roi (1896) by Alfred Jarry and later in the "neoscientific romance" Geste et opinions du docteur Faustroll, 'Pataphysicien (1911) by Alfred Jarry (translated in 1965 as "Exploits and Opinions of Dr. Faustroll, 'Pataphysician" in Selected Works of Alfred Jarry ed. by Roger Shattuck and Simon Watson-Taylor, including "The Crucifixion of Christ Considered as an Uphill Bicycle Race" and "Commentair pour servir … la construction pratique de la machine … explorer le temps", translated as "How to Construct A Time Machine". This in turn inspired "The Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy Considered as a Downhill Motor Race" (1967) by J.G. Ballard.
Pataphysics has also be called a systematic toying with the arrangement of things and their significance until the improbable hypothesis can be seen as real, the examination of the laws governing exceptions to better explain or describe the universe. It does this obscurely with puns, word play, allusions, hierogamies, with co-existing and contrasting impulses shifting frequently but without sinister overtones, but with comic-seriousness. It "rests on the truth of contradictions and exceptions" (Shattuck), on the Law of the Equivalence of Opposites, (in Polish notation: KCpNpCNpp.) Opposites neither cancel each other out nor exist statistically as contraries. A postulate proved by Goedel. Nor are their differences resolved in a dialectical analysis. Rather, they shuttle back, forth, and around in an open-ended spiral. (gidouille). Alfred Jarry (1873-1907) also helped found the theatre of the absurd.
Pataphysics is continued by the College de 'Pataphysique, founded 1948, and the Oulipoeans of the Oulipo (L'Ouvroir de Litterature Potentialle) founded in 1960 by Raymond Queneau and Francois Le Lionnais, inspired by linguistic theories of Ferdinand de Saussurre, that art is produced by the friction generated by an author's imagination working against formal constraints, including Harry Matthews, George Perec and metafictionist Italo Calvino (The Castle of Crossed Destinies, 1977, plotted using Tarot cards, "living" suit of armor; t zero (Qfwfq, 1969), related to magic realism of Jorge Luis Borge, Donald Barthelme and Angela Carter's Nights at the Circus (1984) about winged woman, Fireworks (1974).
The College is also the authority for the Pataphysical Calendar.
Othere such science fiction would be:Don DeLillo's Ratner's Star (1976), The Names(1982), Thomas Disch's 334, Vladimir Nabokov, Rudy Rucker's White Light, orWhat is Cantor's Continuum Problem? (1980), The 57th Franz Kafka (1983), The Sex Sphere (1983),Master of Space and Time (1984), The Secret of Life (1985), Transreal! (1991), John T. Sladek's The Mller-Fokker Effect (1970), Tik-Tok (1983) (alphabent chapters); The Lunatics of Terra (1984), Pamela Zoline's "The Heat Death of the Universe" (1967).
Absurdism, on the other hand, outwardly manifests paranoid and entropy-tortured man's fight against seeming incomprehesibility and irrationality as in Brian Aldiss: Hothouse (aka The Long Afternoon of Earth, 1962), tide-bound Earth's arboreal humans -- linguistically inventive and comic), The Saliva Tree and Other Strange Growths (1966), Barefoot in the Head (1969, post psychedelics war), The Eighty-minute Hour (1974); J. G. Ballard: Vermillion Sands (1971), The Best of David R. Bunch (1993); Jerzy Kosinski: Being There (1970); Michael Moorcock: The Sundered Worlds (1965, multiverse), Robert Sheckley: Untouched by Human Hands (1954), Citizen of Space (1955), Pilgrimage to Earth (1957), Notions: Unlimited (1960), Shards of Space (1962), Journey Beyond Tomarrow (1962, adventures of Pacific Islander), Mindswap (1966), Dimension of Miracles (1968); Villiers, Vonnegut
alternate worlds: "The Battle of Dorking" by George Chesney, 1871; "If Napoleon Had Won the Battle of Waterloo" by G. M. Trevelyan, 1907; The Heads of Cerberus by Francis Stevens, 1919, 1952; If It Had Happened Otherwise edited by Sir John Collings Squire, 1931; Hubert's Arthur by Baron Corvo, 1935; Enchanted Pilgrimage by Clifford D. Simak, 1975; At The Narrow Passage by Richard C. Meredith, 1975; The Whereabouts of Burr by Michael Kurland, 1975; The Alteration by Kingsley Amis, 1976; The Ragged Astronauts by Bob Shaw, 1986; Raft by Stephen Baxter, 1991
alienation: The Dark Light Years by Brian Aldiss (1964)
antigravity: see imaginary-massed tachyons,Across the Zodiac by Percy Greg ,1880, to Mars using apergy; A Journey in Other Worlds by John Jacob Astor, 1894; Willmoth the Wanderer, or The Man from Saturn by C. C. Dail, 1890, ointment on ship; A Plunge into Space by Robert Cromie, 1890; First Men in the Moon by H. G. Wells, 1901 cavorite gravity-opaque; Buck Rogers, 1930, ultronium; "Noice Level" by Raymond F. Jones, 1952; "Mother of Invention" by Tom Godwin, 1953; Count Down by Charles Eric Main, 1959 negatively-curved space; "The Absent-minded Professor", 1961 flubber; Cities in Flight by James Blish ,1970 spindizzy
astrology -- The Astrologer by Edward Hyams(1950), Macroscope by Piers Anthony (1969), The Astrologer by John Cameron (1972), Arachne Rising: The Thirteenth Sign of the Zodiac by John T. Sladek (1977), The Cosmic Factor by James Vogh (1978)
catastrophism -- Judgement of Jupiter by Richard A. Tilms;
clairvoyance: "The Remarkable Case of Davidson's Eyes" (1895) by H. G. Wells", The Telescopic Eye" (1976) by William Henry Rhodes,
extradimensionalities: "The Fifth-Dimensional Catapult" (1931) by Murray Leinster; Islands in Space by John W. Campbell, Jr. (1931) (space warp), "The Dimension of Chance" (1932) by Clark Ashton Smith; The Mightiest Machine by John W. Campbell, Jr. (1934) (hyperspace), "Technical Error" (1946) by Arthur C. Clarke (mirror-man), "Scanners Live in Vain" by Cordwainer Smith (1950) (cyborg pilots), "Tiger by the Tail" (1951) by Alan E. Nourse; Starman Jones by Robert A. Heinlein (1953), Ring Around the Sun (1953) by Clifford D. Simak (colonizable other Earths); "Dusty Zebra" (1954) by Clifford D. Simak; "The Big Front Yard" (1958) by Clifford Simak; The Other Side of Nowhere by Murray Leinster (1964), Catch the Star Winds by A. Bertram Chandler (1969), Mindship by Gerald F. Conway (1974), StarWeb by Joan Cox (1980), The Architect of Sleep (1986) by Stephen Boyett (raccoons dominate): Neverness by David Zindell (1988), Redshift Rendezvous by John E. Stith (1990) (hyperspace c = 22 mph), "Infinite Resources" by Randall Garrett (Dr. George Featherby's apparatus for travel between continua uses original universe for energy!)
FTL science: communication (Dirac radio, "Beep" by James Blish, 1954; ansible, The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin, 1974); travel (Lumen by Camile Flammarion, 1887, translated 1897; via hyperspace, Islands of Space by John W. Campbell, Jr., 1931
humor: Psychoceramics by Josiah Carberry (1945), "Logarithmic and Arythmic Expression of a Physiological Function" by R. Arnold Le Win, "The Path of Pi-mesons in an Oscillating Piezo-electric Field in Israel" by M. Ben Lomand, A. Morowitz, B. Horowitz, Gon. Tomorrowitz (1954), "Curvature of High-frequency Ultra-sound Waves in Distilled Water" by Ramakrishnaswami Krishnanaswaminama (1951), "The Effect of a Pre-frontal Lobotomy on the Tsetse Fly" by Joan M. Klein, K. Suzanne Lathrope, Elizabeth J. Lominska, Lesley E. Seaman, "A Brief Introduction to Logogenetics" by Damon Knight
invisibility: The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells,1897; Ninja Secrets of Invisibility by Ashida Kim; Invisibility: Mastering the Art of Vanishing by Steve Richards
leviation: "Telek" (1952) by Jack Vance
mindswapping: "Exchanging Their Souls" (1877) by Edward Page Mitchell, Vice Versa (1882) by F. Anstey (Thomas A. Guthrie) (talisman), "The Great Keinplatz Experiment" (1886) by Arthur Conan Doyle (hypnosis), "Through Other Eyes" (1960) by R. A. Lafferty, Mind Switch (1965) by Damon Knight (with Hamburg zoo animal), Mindswap (1966) by Robert Sheckley
mythopoeia: Perelandra (1943) by C. S. Lewis; To The Chapel Perilous (1955) by Naomi Mitchison; "The Dead Lady of Clown Town" (1964) by Cordwainer Smith; Come Back, Dr. Caligari (1964), Snow White (1967) and Unspeakable Practices, Unnatural Acts (1968) by Donald Barthelmenumerology -- The Incredible Dr. Matrix by Martin Gardner (1977), "Six Cubed Plus One" by John Rankine
orgonomy by Wilhelm Reich
Brian Aldiss, J. G. Ballard, Donald Barthelme, Jorge Luis Borge, Italo Calvino, Angela Carter, Don DeLillo, Thomas Disch, Alfred Jarry, Jerzy Kosinski, Harry Matthews, Michael Moorcock, Vladimir Nabokov, Georg Perec, Rudy Rucker, Robert Sheckley, John F. Sladek, Villiers
postcognition: mistaken for inherited memory or preincarnation The Sound of a Voice That is Still (1899) by Archie Campbell, Before Adam (1906) by Jack London, The Ancient Allan (1919) by H. Rider Haggard, "Unlocking The Past" (1928) by Dr. David H. Keller, "The Time Stream" (1931-2) by John Taine (Eric Temple Bell),"The Memory Stream" (1933) by Warren E. Sanders (Neanderthalers), "The Lost Language" (1934) by Dr. David H. Keller (Old Welch), Syzygy (1974) by Michael G. Coney
precognition: The Tale of the Future (1961) by I. F. Clarke, Yesterday's Tomarrows: a Historical Survey of Future Societies by W. H. G. Armytage (1968), The Future as Nightmare (1969) by Mark R. Hillagas, Teaching Tomarrow Today (1975) by Ronald T. and Ellen LaConte, A Multitude of Visions (1975) by Cy Chauvin, The Discovery of the Future (1975) by James Gunn(p)reincarnation by G. M. Glaskin, etal. in the Christos Experiment 1970s) -- An Account of a Meeting with Denizens of Another Word 1871 by Langford and William Robert Loosley, Sex Secrets of Ancient Atlantis by Grant (1985)
pseudosciences: see astrology, catastrophism, dianetics, general semantics, mythology, numerology, orgonomy, (p)reincarnation, scientology, synchronicitypsionics: includes clairvoyance, levitation, mindswapping, postcognition, precognition, telekinetics, telepathy, teleportation, tulpation; Wild Talents (1932) by Charles Fort; "Forgetfulness" by Don A. Stuart, 1937; "The Psionic Mousetrap" by Murray Leinster, 1955
psychobotany: "Tumbleweed: A Study of Sturm und Drang" by Stanley Mildew, "From Cucumber to Pickle: A Case Study" by Kenneth Gherkin, Parallel Stages in the Growth of the Human and Vegetable Minds by Jerome Pruner, The Lonely Kraut (1950) by David Riceman, "The Weed from Birth to Maturity" by Geranium Kagan, Peat Moss (in Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality ed. by Glenn C. Ellenbogen from Journal of Polymorphous Perversity)
psychohistory: Foundation series by Isaac Asimov
replication: "Remote Projection" (1910) by Guillaume Appollinaire, (inventor projected and replicated 841 times), "The Fourth Dimensional Demonstrator" (1935) by Murray Leinster (replicator-like),"Transmat" (1960) by Lan Wright, The Mller-Fokker Effect by John T. Sladek (wet-to-software)
robotics: L'Ôve future by Villiers de L'isle-Adam, 1886, translated 1981 as The Eve of the Future
scientology -- This Is Scientology: The Science of Certainty (1955) by L. Ron Hubbard
subspace: Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (1884) by Edwin Abbott, "Plane People" (1933) by Wallace Westsuperman
surrealism: Andr‚ Breton
suspended animation: "Pausodyne" by Grant Allen, 1881
synchronicity by C. G. Jung -- The Roots of Coincidence by Arthur Koestler
tachyonics: see extradimensionality,
time travel, worm holes, Around A Distant Star (1904) by Jean Delaire (ship with v = 2000c), "Beep" (1954) by James Blish (Dirac communicator), (1962) Olexa-Myron Bilaniuk and E. C. George Sudarshan, (1967) Gerald Feinberg theorized faster-than-light (FTL) particles with imaginary metamass, detectable by Cerenkov radiation, "The Tachyonic Antitelephone" (1970) by G. A. Benford,D. L. Book and W.A. Newcomb, Cities in Flight by James Blish (1970) (spindizzy, rotary/linear acceleration transformer -- Dean drive), The Quincunx of Time by James Blish (1973), (1973) J. Richard Gott's theory of matter, antimatter and metamatter universes, The Dispossessed (1974) by Ursula K. LeGuin (ansible makes instantaneous communication possible), Faster Than Light ed. by Jack Dann and George Zebrowski (1976), Timescape (1980) by Gregory Benford (attempt by scientists to send message to and change past), Superluminary by Vonda McIntyre (1984), Five Twelfths of Heaven by Melissa Scott (1985), Falcon by Emma Bull (1989), Hyperion (1989) by Dan Simmon (war across time by AIs)telekinetics: "Don't Cross a Telekine" (1959) by H. Phillip Stratford
telepathy: (1882) "The Interventions of Professor Telepath" (1922) by J. Russel Warren, (crime-solving mindreading device), "The Telepathic Pick-up" (1926) by Samuel M. Sargent, Jr., "The Thought Projector" (1929) by David H. Keller, The Thought Stealer (1929) by Frank Bourne, "From the Wells of the Brain" (1933) by Paul Ernst, "The Dangerous Dimension" 11938) by L. Ron Hubbard, "Wild Talents, Inc." (1953) by Robert Scheckley, Wild Talent (1954) by Wilson Tucker (ESPionage agent Phillips), "Second Sight" (1956) by Alan E. Nourse (blind and deaf girl hiers), "Rogue Psi" (1962) by James H. Schmitz (ruthless mimic), "A Meeting of Minds" (1969) by Anne McCaffrey, Ubik (1969) by PhillipK. Dick (industrial ESPionage), The Mind Trap(1970) by Dan Morgan, "Out of Mindshot" (1970) byJohn Brunner, The Pritcher Mass (1972) by GordonDickson (attempt interstellar)teleportation: aka matter transmission as opposedto astral projection; "The Man without a Body"(1877) by Edward Page Mitchell, (cat via wire,but only head of inventor), To Venus in FiveSeconds (1897) by Fred T. Jane, "The Secret of Electrical Transmission" (1922) by Clement Fezanie (Dr. Hackensaw), The Radio Man (1924) byRalph Milne Farley, "Beam Transmission" (1934) by George H. Scheer, "The Fly" (1957) by George Langelaan (double mutation), Echo Round His Bones (1966) by Thomas Disch, (invisible 4-D "echo effect" left behind), Way Station (1963) byClifford Simak, "The Door to Anywhere" (1966) byPoul Anderson, "The Alibi Machine" (1973) by Larry Niven, Stargate (1974) by Tak Hallus, using tachyons (1975 Farthest Star by Frederick Pohland Jack Williamson), using Einstein-Rosen bridge (wormhole)
therolinguistics: study of animal languages and literature, "The Author of the Acacia Seeds and Other Extracts from the Journal of the Association of Therolinguistics" (1974) by Ursula K. LeGuin
time dilation: "The New Accelerator" (1901) by H. G. Wells (drug), "Placet is a Crazy Place" by Fredric Brown (1946), Return to Tomarrow by L. Ron Hubbard (1950), "Common Time" by James Blish (1953), Time for the Stars by Robert Heinlein (1956), "The Voices of Time" (1960) by J. G. Ballard, Bussard ramjet (1960) (at 0.99c dilation = 1/7); "Past the Time Limit" (1966) by George Langelaan, "Meeting My Brother" by Vladislav Krapivin (1966), Tau Zero by Poul Anderson (1970) (outlive the universe!), The Forever War by Joe Haldeman (1975), A World Out of Time by Larry Niven (1976), "Not Absolute" by Tom Allen (1978), Beloved Son by George Turner (1978)
time travel: Anno 7603 (1781) by Johan Wessel (fairy); "Who Is Russell?" (1875) by Eggleston (mistaken for devil); "The Clock That Went Backward" by Edward Page Mitchell (1881), The Time Machine by H. G. Wells (1895), "Commentair pour servir … la construction pratique de la machine … explorer le temps" (1899) by Alfred Jarry, "Special Theory of Relativity" (1905) by Albert Einstein, "General Theory of Relativity"; John Ellis McTaggart (1908) ("earlier", "simultaneous", "later" better than "past", "present" and "future" -- remembered faith experience, experienced charity, anticipated hope); (1916) by Albert Einstein, An Experiment with Time (1926) by J. W. Dunne, The Serial Universe (1934) by J. W. Dunne, "The Fitzgerald Contraction" and "The Time Valve" (1930) by Miles J. Breuer, The Time Stream (1931) by John Taine, "A Flight into Time" (1931) by Wilson (long periods, 256 yrs; cyclical until Christ increased period to infinity? "nothing new under the sun" (Eccl 1:9)); Liners of Time (1935) by John Russell Fearn, "The Branches of Time" (1935) by David Daniel, Zagribud (1937) by John Russell Fearn, "Language for Time Travellers" (1938) by Willy Ley, The Serial Universe by J. W. Dunne (1938); "Geography for Time Travellers" (1939) by Willy Ley, "The Endochronic Properties of Resublimated Thiotimoline" by Isaac Asimov, 1948; The End of Eternity (1955) by Isaac Asimov; The Philadelphia Experiment: The Dangers of Traveling Through Space and Time as told by Al Bielek (40 years into future), The Philadephia Experiment Chronicles by Commander X (extradimensionals via black hole, cover-up), The Montauk Project: Experiments in Time, (Farley 1950 too dangerous or costly for many travellers?); "Something for Nothing" (1955) by Robert Sheckley; "Thing of Beauty" (1961) by Damon Knight; "How to Construct a Time Machine"(1965) translation of Alfred Jarry by Roger Shattuck, "Light of Other Days"(1966) by Bob Shaw (slow-glass), "The Founding of Civilization" (1968) by Yarov (long periods,can't stop); Up The Line (1969) by Robert Silverberg (popular Crucifixion tour), Paratimeseries by H. Beam Piper, T. E. R. R. A. series by Larry Maddock, Dinosaur Beach (1971) by Keith Laumer, "The Trouble with the Past" (1971) byPhyllis Eisenstein (antitime); "The Fox and theForest" (1980) by Ray Bradbury (in crowds,hypnotic deception of visited); "Of Time and Third Avenue" (1981) by Alfred Bester; "MimsyWere The Borogoves" (1981) by Lewis Padgett; "The Little Black Bag" (1984) by C. M. Kornbluth
xenology: "Have our students been turned into aliens?" (J. of Alienation 14:389-95 and J. of Polymorphous Perversity)
for more see Let Us Remember Andre Joyce