Wednesday 2 October 2013

Yi Read Taylor's Polynomials

INTRO: I asked my friend Scott Delahunt to do a guest post, as he's one of the few active readers of "Taylor's Polynomials" that I know personally. I want you, interested reader, to get an outside perspective, before I start my own sequence of explanation posts. What is it about the serial that Scott enjoys? What might others enjoy, if they were to read?

Let me also plug that Scott has his own blog set up at "The Chaos Beast". He's a NaNoWriMo veteran  - once interviewed on a radio show - who posts his own serialized works on his blog with commentary, among other things. This includes "Subject 13", and his latest, "Lethal Ladies". You should check those out! And read his post about my serial below.


Greg asked me to talk about why I read /Taylor's Polynomials/.  A bit of background, though.  Greg and I have beta-read each others works in the past, from fanfiction to original works.  When Greg started /Taylor's Polynomials/, I was eager to read it, knowing the creator's style already.  As expected, it contained puns and interesting characters.  Not fully expected, despite the tag-line and the group-noun "Math-tans" was the amount of math in it.  However, I figured I could keep up.  I took Engineering and Computer Science in university.  I've done things to numbers.  Unspeakable things.

What I soon discovered was that while I used and abused equations, Greg knew them inside and out.  So, as I read about the Math-tans, some of what I learned and lost over the years came back to me.  Along the way came equations I hadn't seen before.  Engineering just deals with the math that the designs need, and Computer Science tosses the math to the machine, so the older trig functions were never spoken of.  Of course, that may have been the thrust of that arc, that the older trig functions were tired of being ignored.

Through the series, though, was strong characterization.  There was no doubt who was who, even if I had to pause a moment to remember my trig shorthand.  For a student taking trigonometry while reading the series, the personifications should help with remembering which one is which.  Same with the polynomials.  For me, it was a way to jog my memory and learn new ways to math.

Math isn't the only thing, though.  The big reasons I return are the story and the characters.  Each season has expanded the setting, expanded the cast, created new situations, even had drama.  Characters had their own voices, making them easy to tell apart.  Their lives intertwined, split, added, multiplied, integrated and derived.  Each entry let me glimpse at how active a life functions really had when not being used and abused.

That's why I keep reading.

^ Just 'Cos ^


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