Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Have you ever run across a fanfic that was better than most of the books you’d ever read?

Well, I did last night. HPMR is… pretty fucking amazing. As a bonus, it’s free, massive, and available in various ePub, which is why I now have it on my Nook.

I’d be interested to know what people think of the science invoked in the various chapters. I’m certainly not cognizant of the science to be able to criticize it or know whether it’s right or wrong.

I wish I could write this well, though. Le sigh.

Holy cow that is good.

I too wishes I could write this good too. I must learn English gooder.

Wow, fanfic is really popular. There are 500k Harry Potter stories on that site – are kids reading and writing now more than ever?

I ran across this story earlier, from David Brin’s blog. Part polemic, part satire, part original storyline. The satire isn’t particularly mean, the author obviously has a lot of love for the source material. He makes a hell of an attempt at making the scattered rules of Rowling’s universe make sense.

The real series played with the idea that Harry and Voldemort are alike in some ways. Harry’s concern over this has him push the hat to not sort him into Slytherin, to check his worst impulses. That’s one theme from the original that really works when given more time in this fanfic – Harry and Voldemort are separated by a thread, and you do feel like Harry could turn into Voldemort.

The beginning was great, but like quaro pointed out, it does take a turn towards the polemic, and the preachy-ness started to bring it down.

I’m still enjoying it despite its turn towards the polemic. It’s certainly in character, after all.

How do you download it in epub or whatever is Kindle friendly?

You can find various formats here: http://www.fanfiction.net/u/2269863/Less_Wrong

I’m a bit confused by the second page, and I haven’t read far enough yet to see whether it wraps up by the end. Is this still being written & revised, or is it a finished product? I don’t want to have to update the files for my Kindle.

At 72 chapters, it had better be fucking done. Or else I’m gonna be pissed at spending a good chunk of my Saturday reading it. (At Ch. 24 before I bailed for typical weekend party stuff, FYI…this is actually a really fun read).

I don’t think it’s done; I think it’s on hiatus.

I believe it’s had some significant progress since I last ran across it, but it definitely wasn’t done then and, assuming he wants to cover all seven of the original books with this version of events, won’t be done for a long time most likely. (This may be an erroneous assumption, though.) It’s really brilliant stuff, though. I wish more fan fiction were that good.

Quite clever… I almost made it through two chapters.

It’s insufferably self-assured and Harry manages to be a Mary Sue while the writer tries to pretend he isn’t, but the first third is good. I’d stop reading after that though, it gets bogged down in boring.

This seems like a great idea. In the sense of someone tells you the idea, you laugh and enjoy it, and then don’t read it.

You might want to try actually reading it before you make automatic judgments. Just saying. I was a hard sell myself, given the average fanfic quality, but this one…this one is actually good.

I assume you’d actually need to have read the Harry Potter books to get this?

Nah, just seeing the movies should be enough. Just remember that Prof Quirrel had Voldemort on the back of his head in the first movie.

This is hilarious. I agree that it starts to sort of implode into a logic-fueled maelstrom after a couple of dozen chapters, and I think I would have enjoyed it more if it mirrored the original timeline of events more closely. Still the utter absurdity is totally worth it.

A logic-fueled maelstrom of chaotic double-dealing is exactly what it implodes into. Reminds me of reading Cyteen.

I will say that the author is absolutely correct in saying that a rationalist Harry Potter requires equally intelligent adversaries. Otherwise the entire plot of all the novels gets solved in a couple of weeks and then the story ends.

However, Harry could stand to be a little more like a super-intelligent 11 year old, instead of a hyper-rationalist, super-intelligent ageless brain in a body.