Audio books keep me going on long journeys, so when I reach the end of the only one I have with me before journey end I’m in trouble. It happened the other day on the M1 when, without much hope, I stopped at the next service station to see what audio books were on offer. Answer: A Brief History of Mathematics by Marcus du Sautoy. He’s a Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University and for me it was a lucky chance encounter; and at £3.99 his Brief History is a steal. The rest of the journey flashed by in a welter of drama, personality and intrigue in the weird and wonderful world of advanced mathematics. Du Sautoy believes his discipline is the Queen of Sciences and I am not going to argue with him. What I will say is that anyone who enjoys plotting complex fantasy stories – or just reading them – is likely to understand why so many great mathematicians describe their work as a process of exploring different and beautiful worlds.