Vocation seeping into the hobby

…was great for Tolkien; he did languages for his academic living, and as a result could do Elf languages not only enthusiastically, but expertly.

Me? I’m a mathematician.

That cannot carry over very well.

* * *

The Adventure of Ruprecht Generick
in the Magical Land of Ba Nach

(a derivative tale)


  1. Falling into fantasy: Life is complex when the real and the imaginary meet
  2. More dimensions than these three: an N-chanted tunnel in the sky!
  3. The Set of All Sets, or is this Egyptian a god of an alien realm?
  4. To the limit of the sum of your fears: the dread Integral Riders arrive!
  5. Oh no! There’s a conjecture about a savior, but where’s the proof?
  6. A lacunary series of meetings in the shadow of the discontinuity called Death
  7. One, two, too many Integral Riders: the Great Battle for Ba Nach, commences!
  8. Cold equations and the calculus of defeat: You win if and only if you run away!
  9. I have found a fixed point in my life! The heroic transformation of Möbius!
  10. An exponent of peace, a minimizer of strife: the solution comes from the left-hand side
  11. Farewells, squares and ghost references

* * *

Oy, it would be the sad tale of Polly Nomial (which would be a nice spoken-word piece in an interdisciplinary gathering, and then the mathematicians would be forever alone) crossed with Terry Brooks.

Also, the titles might show how much anime I’ve been watching lately.

But seriously, I think that as a result of my academic education, I would probably get lost in a sea of details if I tried to write heroic fantasy. (Wait, that’s not “if I tried”, but “when I will try”. One day!) And then there would be a footnote, saying: “For more detail on the Elvish system of integration that Magister Luchaliber alluded to, see Appendix Theta.”

Which, you know, starts from the halfway point of the book, just after Appendix Rho, “The High Elven Concept of Infinity: The Legend of Rumikol”, and Appendix Sigma, “The Intuitive Analogues of the Standard (\epsilon,\delta)-Proof in Wood Elf Spoken-Word Pseudo-Real Analysis: The High Cost of Low Rigor”.

With the first line being “Portions of this appendix were published as ‘A novel but non-pedagogical approach to visualizing limits’, by M. Ascaras and E. Riz, in Comm. Soc. Chic. Ken., 148 (2012), 34–40.”

Which, you know, would be fun to write; but books are often written to be read, too.

(But hey, “mathematically rigorous worldbuilding” sounds nice, doesn’t it? I wonder if there are books that investigate the history of mathematical ideas and conceptions among non-scholars. Presumably it can’t have been one sheep two sheep many sheep all the time; nowadays even non-mathies have intuitions about zero, infinity, and the like.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s