- Male author who did not typically write science fiction. Novel came out in the 1990's I think.
- It seemed initially to be a story about a serial killer but it turns out the protagonist was merely misinterpreting a telepathic first contact attempt. He thought the voices in his head were telling him to kill but he was just a bit insane and could not handle first contact.
- Two scientific/mathematical researchers featured. They discovered that you could run spaceship/warp drive on pure mathematics because the universe is ultimately just information and therefore by running the right sort of computer algorithm on your laptop you could theoretically warp space. If you could get hold of a military grade maths algorithm then your spaceship would be truly impressive.
- The quality of star drive depended in part on the quality of mathematics used by your spaceship's engine.
- There was a cat fascinated by static on a computer screen.
This was quite a disturbing, confusing, psychological thriller ala Donnie Darko, and the revelation that the insane killer was actually misinterpreting a first contact message was a great twist.
That's about what I can remember from twenty years ago. Anybody think they know this one?