If you're the kind of person, upon discovering a 'wizarding world' would:
- Look into establishing arbitrage between the wizards' fixed ratio of Gold/Silver currency and the muggles' variable ratio
-Try to discover the underlying laws and mechanics of magic
-Use a time machine to prove/disprove P == NP
Read this Book!
In the cold light of adulthood it is unfortunately not as good as my inner child remembers. Nowhere near as bad as Rowling, who is an awful writer, but still pretty bad. To be fair to Rowling her first book actually introduced some good ideas, the rest were pretty much universally crap.
Some of Asimov's themes and ideas are also feeling very dated now too, he seemed to be heavily influenced by the US/Russia situation and early electronics and those inspirations have not stood the test of time.
A visionary in his time and for a generation afterwards, but I'm starting to doubt he'll be much read in 10 or 20 years time.
What? Excuse me, are you serious? Rowling is a very good writer. In terms of style and plotting, the latter of which isn't always perfect, but definitely not as awful as you make out. And why on earth are you measuring her in terms of "ideas" such as historical context, she wrote a series of children and teen's books, which happen to possess a cross-over appeal to adults due to their quality. Harry Potter isn't hard science fiction, and I do find your seeming inability to find simple pleasure in reading such a (in my view) charming series quite disheartening.
I really thought Hacker News was a more intellectual place, than to condone empty blanket statements like "their writing is crap".
Please, if you are going to state something, especially in a thread regarding rationality, please back it up.
I mean, look at http://www.google.com/search?num=100&q=asimov%20%22prose... . These people aren't making it up; Asimov will never be praised for his striking style, magnificent metaphors, or lucid descriptions, like, say, Gene Wolfe is.
And yes, there are a lot of direct cold war references in something like Fantastic Voyage II that make it seem outdated, but I think that his really futuristic stuff doesn't have that flaw.
I just wanted to say that I absolutely love this series of Harry Potter stories. Awesome. Brilliant. Genius. This is as someone who does read a lot as well. It's really, really, really excellent. It's the only mostly static website on the web which I go and manually check every couple of days, excited at the thought that maybe there's a new chapter up. It's like having a child's Christmas every few days. I love it.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Sign up (no email or password, just a UUID), track as many authors or stories as you like in one Atom feed. It will let you know when wordcount changes even if there's no new chapter, or when your favorite author has a new story.
Everything so far has followed this pattern:
* 1) Set-up.
* 2) Harry demonstrates his special, unique smarts.
Of course, step two is the far more important of the two.
Combine that with a ridiculously over-the-top amount of name-dropping (more citations than a doctorate!). (I admit, I did have a soft spot for the Flubber reference; it was instantly ruined by the AD&D one that followed -- and if "+6 thingamabobie" wasn't explicit enough for you, the entire next paragraph was about AD&D.)
This is not storytelling: "And she told him of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, the Dark Lord, Voldemort." Bleargh. And following it up with an academic citation WRT the bystander effect: WTF?
Anyway, everyone has opinions; that's just mine. Story should come first, and wish-fulfillment fantasies second. (Not that they can't add to a story!)
I'm quite certain the story will change & evolve. However, I'm rather sceptical that the writing quality will.
Part of why I gave it up so early is purely on me: I am a sucker for a page-turner -- once a plot picks up a certain amount of steam, I have a near-compulsion to finish. This is the case even if, upon reflection, I don't like the writing, characters, events, etc...
Nothing less fun than coming out of a reading binge at 3am on a work night reading a book you didn't like!
edit: Random sampling in future chapters reveals great heapings of soliloquy and dialectic. I don't feel too bad about setting it down.
Oh this has happened to me far far too many times...
If it helps, MoR's plot is fairly episodic and doesn't start to pick up steam until about chapter 16
I'd add an "I loved it" but honestly, I liked a lot of the things you disliked, so YMWPV.
However, there are plenty of others (standard IMO disclaimer applies). ;)
(As a very quick & somewhat quantitative example, look at how many words the author spent on the contrasting views & strained relationship of Ma Potter & Pa Potter WRT magic in the first chapter, vs. the approximately zero words spent on that same topic in the second chapter when magic is demonstrated directly for them.)
a)It was very contrived, and
b)Rape will never be legal, sorry, unless it's an anti-feminist society similar to some Arab countries, which that society wasn't. I know it's just one little thing, but that completely killed the suspension of disbelief for me.
b) was a reference to http://lesswrong.com/lw/xm/building_weirdtopia/
There was some discussion of this when the chapter was posted. The rape idea was really weird, but it made more sense after reading some of the discussion:
People like to have protagonists with "human" values to root for in stories—in fact, it can be said that consuming narrative is basically how humans indulge in pretending to believe their own far values (by identifying with characters that act on those far values as if they were near, and then "liking" the works of writers that cause those identifiable characters to "win" the story—or, alternatively, that cause characters without those values to "lose", as in tragedies.) That's the reason that any setting, no matter how fantastic (D&D, 40k, HHGTTG) still has (something that acts and thinks like) modern-day humans. However, if you really think in Hard sci-fi terms, you begin to realize that there's no good, probable explanation for "the future" being such a setting without further, conscious intervention on our part to retain our current values (see Eliezer's "Theory of Fun" sequence.)
I explained why it didn't work for me. Any work of fiction- the successful ones, anyway- will always be about people. If they're too different of a people (genetically engineered out of their humanness), then people simply won't enjoy it.
There's a reason that there are virtually no popular science fiction novels where the protagonist is an alien that has a completely different value/mating systems to us. I got like a page into a story about an alternate history of Earth where birds resembling jacanas (a species where the females are behaviorally like the males of other species and v.v.) were the intelligent species on the planet. Then I realized that no-one could ever relate to or care about my characters. They were just too alien. That isn't to say there can't be great fiction where the conflict between alien races is over that difference, like 3 worlds, (Ender's Game comes to mind), but the point is always to reaffirm what it means to be human. You just can't do that if the humans in your book are alien.
...which was, oddly enough, the plot of the story itself! The protagonists decided that the values of the Baby Eaters were a bad thing; and, likewise, the Super Happy people decided that the values of the protagonists were a bad thing. One day, our future, alien selves might decide that our current values are a bad thing, and, likewise, if we see their (potential) values as bad enough, we might consider not allowing such a positive feedback loop toward new values to take place at all.
It wasn't even an especially important or relevant part of the plot. It's not an unusual, or especially heinous sin for SF to be tone deaf about how actual human beings function, but supposing that any kind of peaceful society would allow rape is pretty absurd.
If you mean that an individual human couldn't view sex as something outside themselves, then maybe.
And if you like that, check out "Life Artificial":
If you're not careful when you read it, you miss the True Ending:
Use a time machine to prove/disprove P == NP
Also note that Harry is either ahead of the times (he doesn't mention the Moravec paper in-story) or very, very au courant, being perhaps the only eleven year old in the world to be reading preprints of theoretical computer science papers while also attending wizarding school.
There are no 11 year olds who attend wizarding school, hence it is True that all such creatures read CS preprints. (Like it is True that unicorns have one horn.)
Perhaps a </joke> would have been necessary.
There's also a healthy dose of Pratchett, acknowledging the fundamental silliness of magic.
This is really a pet peeve of mine - nobody thinks they're the villain, not Hitler, not Bin Laden, not Timothy McVeigh, nobody. Comic villains and Bond villains are just silly, impossible for me to take seriously. So writers must give an explanation for their villains' evil acts that is distinct from "because they're evil". Most writers don't, but Eliezer Yudkowsky does, and it's a breath of fresh air.
As for the Malfoys, it's clear to anyone who read the books that they are not one-dimensional villains. Crabbe and Goyle might be, but they were never important.
She must have had a hell of a time with JK Rowling's version then...
There are some links to an ePub version if anyone's interested (I enjoyed it).
It also looks like the author regularly appends new content. I'm going to need to re-read this!
Probably because this is not really Harry Potter fanfiction - the main character of this story is not Harry Potter, so many aspects of the story are radically changed from canon, the author even admits to not having read some of the books, etc. Harry is your basic self-insert in this situation.
So this isn't really fanfiction - it's original fiction set in the Harry Potter universe, and I guess that's what makes it appeal to readers who don't follow fanfiction, and repels some people that do.
Along similar lines is Alicorn's Luminosity, which replaces Bella's character from the Twilight series with someone more rational and introspective. Where MoR was based on Eliezer's sequences on Rationality, Luminosity is based on Alicorn's sequence on Luminosity.
Some seem to be very annoyed whenever they think MoR veers too far from canon which I don’t understand at all. What do I care about canon as long as it makes sense internally? Picking and choosing certain ideas from the existing material while dropping or changing others – even radically – seems a perfectly reasonable thing to do if executed correctly.
fill-in-the-blanks: This is a story that tells parts of the original work's backstory. The custom is to try scrupulously to maintain canon compatibility -- ie ensure that your work, and the original works, could be presented as a unified whole without contradiction. Fernwithy (http://www.sugarquill.net/index.php?action=profile&id=50...) writes beautifully in this mode, is very careful about maintaining consistency, and has only started writing stories set in the future of the series since the 7th book closed the canon up.
The future fic:
This is the sort of thing authors do because they're impatient for the next installment of canon. They try to write the next installment themselves. Again, consistency is considered important. Usually there's some wish-fulfillment, not so much in terms of self-insertion, but in terms of the author taking the story where they wished it would go, especially by pairing two characters the author likes together.
After the End(http://www.sugarquill.net/read.php?chapno=1&storyid=619) and The Letters of Summer(http://www.phoenixsong.net/fanfiction/story/53/) are both good examples.
Once the next installment of canon comes out, the future fic is usually retroactively labelled AU, or alternate universe.
The single-point-of-departure AU:
"For want of a nail, the horse was lost..." -- the author picks a very specific time and place in canon in which something goes differently, and then tells the story from there. Even here, consistency is prized, unless you can justify how the change arose from the point of departure. I haven't read much in this mode, so I don't have any immediate suggestions.
A strangely specific variant of the single-point-of-departure is the Peggy Sue, in which a main character travels back in time, inhabits the body of his/her young self, and redoes everything using their knowledge of future events. Harry Potter and the Nightmares of Futures Past (http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2636963/1/Harry_Potter_and_the_N...) and Harry Potter and the Wastelands of Time (http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4068153/1/Harry_Potter_and_the_W...) are both examples. Peggy Susie (http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5731071/1/Peggy_Susie) is a one-shot parody of this genre by MoR's author.
The author takes the story miles into left field, usually played for laughs. How Hogwarts Became a Nudist Colony (http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2179136/1/How_Hogwarts_Became_a_...) or Potter Puppet Pals (http://www.potterpuppetpals.com/newppp/channels/TroubleAtHog...) are prime examples. No rules here but the rule of Funny.
MoR doesn't fit neatly into any of these categories, but starts out sounding a lot like it's going to be a single-point-of-departure AU (the notes at the top of the first chapter have now been edited to specifically disclaim this). MoR is an example of, well, taking another author's universe, using the bits you like, and changing whatever you need to change to tell the story you want to tell, in the manner you want to tell it. It shares this "genre" with most comic reboots, Homer, Milton, the Bible, the brothers Grimm, Disney -- basically a huge chunk of western culture. But it still doesn't quite fit into the set of genres commonly seen in HP fanfic.
Beyond that (and of course Harry being, well, a nerd) it's not awful for canon. Sure, there's a bit more over the top characterization (Dumbledore gets hit really hard by this, and the kids only act 11 when convenient) but that's not really canon-related.
I guess there's probably a bit much "Ender's Game at Hogwarts", though.
Bewarned, it's very well written and fun(ny). You may fall out of your chair with laughter
Why they give you this ability but have absolutly horrible defaults will probably be forever their secret.
There are very few websites that I prefer reading in the original form, as opposed to in one of the above formats. I wonder what that says about the state of web design.
It adds buttons that allow you to put the entire page on one story. Hope that helps.