J.'s Reviews > Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Eliezer Yudkowsky
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Oct 02, 11

Read in August, 2011

First novel-length fanfiction I've read all the way through to the end. Linked via http://www.metafilter.com/105731/Reme... --comments on the fic start about halfway down the page.

Our what-if here is: what if Aunt Petunia had begged Lily to magic her a better life (via, primarily, beauty), and Lily had done so? Petunia marries a brilliant professor instead of Vernon Dursley, and Harry grows up loved and educated instead of abused.

So: Harry is a Ravenclaw, and a prodigy, and intends to approach magic as a scientist. His primary companions and friends are Hermione (also Ravenclaw, this time around--like, you know, makes sense) and Draco (Draco as raised-evil, but charismatic and intelligently manipulative, too).

"Methods" pokes fun at some of the goofier bits of the actual series, while also generating tension and strong scenes on its own merits (and dramatizing various points of logic and philosophy). And though Harry's abilities are greater here, I think it's evident that his enemies' abilities are as well.

Far from perfect, but unexpectedly hard to put down. Much better than its title :)
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