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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality - What if Harry was smarter than Ender? (Page 0)

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Author Topic: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality - What if Harry was smarter than Ender?
Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
If you haven't been reading along and been putting it off, now is the time to read everything, FYI.

We have 60 hours to save Harry.

I take it that means he's nearly done with it? I haven't been reading it for a long time but if it's finally about to be finished, I'll start up again. Well, at least once I'm done with my Words of Radiance reread.
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Stone_Wolf_
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No...it's a challenge to readers...he has set a puzzle, to be answered in a timeframe or the story ends...brutally.
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Samprimary
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sounds good to me, can we ask that harry cry uncontrollably before he dies?
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Rakeesh
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Take a picture guys, Samprimary's hatin'! [Wink]
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Samprimary
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But don't you see, it would be perfect. By doing it this way you would guarantee you got to see both endings
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Heisenberg
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I'm kind of with Sam on this one. The author is far too proud of the work and his own way of thinking to not post the real ending with the super genious solution. I'd bet the author would like that more, in fact, if everybody failed.
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Stone_Wolf_
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I've already got Harry alive with only a decent risk...and God knows I only sometimes don't qualify as a blunt object so I doubt highly that someone is not going to come up w something better.
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Seatarsprayan
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My enjoyment of the story has certainly lessened since the beginning. I liked the deconstruction of the HP world, more than the preachy stuff about "rationality." (Some of which is spot on correct, if still preachy, but other stuff is just human bias in another guise.)

At least it is ending and we'll get closure.

So... did Harry kill Lucius and Sirius? Does he plan on saving them with the Time Turner?

As for Voldy... the story takes place in 1992, does it? Can we forgive Voldy for not being aware of what wasn't common knowledge back then even among muggles?

"RAID is not backup." [Big Grin]

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Rakeesh
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I'm curious, which bits about rationality were spot on and which were human bias? I haven't reread the story so I admit there is a ton I am certainly forgetting.
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Dogbreath
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Well, I haven't read any of the story in a *year*, so I don't know if this was a reflection of "rationality" or rather the author intentionally giving Harry a bias so he would be more vulnerable/easily persuaded by Voldemort: but Harry's obsession with death seemed to go into areas that seemed less than rational. Which isn't to say it doesn't have a rational basis - as a conscious being it's within my rational self interest to stay alive as long as possible (even indefinitely, if science can reach that point in the next 60 years) - but writing seemed to laden with a sheer terror of death that it warps Harry's "rational" approach to it.
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Rakeesh
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I admit I don't share that terror of death (now, when it is an abstract and remote concept for me), but I also think that there is something to be said that it might actually be *the* problem for humanity, it's just that most of us-that is, almost everyone everywhere and at all times past and present-have been trained not to think of it that way.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Reminds me of of my favorite OSC short story "Mortal Gods" in Maps in the Mirror.


On to a question....why oh why oh why did Voldermort leave Harry his wand?!?

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Raymond Arnold
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FYI, if you're in NYC, we're having a HPMoR wrap-up party this Saturday. There will be Quirrel-Army-style battles, among other things.

https://www.facebook.com/events/778205058936210/782550055168377/

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
but writing seemed to laden with a sheer terror of death that it warps Harry's "rational" approach to it.

The author has a big ol .... Uh, thing going on with that psychologically in his own head and he goes somewhat off the deep end and it's basically written straight into Marry Sue Potter
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Rakeesh
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Ha, well that twist there makes quite a lot of sense, really. It would be very easy, I think, for a cautious and intelligent person to 'kill' someone in such a way and have it go undiscovered what with magic and all.

-----

In the wake of so many deaths, I can by sympathetic with Draco. Also because he is still after all a child. That said, though, his moral outrage towards Harry for having 'used' him and manipulated and such is, although understandable right now in the moment, deeply hypocritical and absurd. I would have expected harry to have pointed it out sooner if that wouldn't have hurt his own long term plans, but Draco was playing to win, and he started when he thought it would be a walk. It's a sort of reflection of what happened with Harry and Hermione, but she had rather more guts and ethics than he did and could face up and try to adapt to being defeated in their contest.

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Foust
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I'm pretty disappointed in this ending so far. The story made huge promises and hasn't delivered on any of them. I suppose I was naive.

Worm is much better, as web serials go.

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Rakeesh
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Promises such as? Serious question, it's been going on so long I could easily have forgotten.
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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by Foust:
I'm pretty disappointed in this ending so far. The story made huge promises and hasn't delivered on any of them. I suppose I was naive.

Worm is much better, as web serials go.

Worm is far and away the best web serial written so far. The fact the author managed to complete it in a 2 year timeframe without missing a single update is doubly impressive, considering it's sheer size.

Have you read Pact yet? I'm about 10 arcs in atm, it took me several tries to get into it but it picks up around Arc 4. (the slow methodical starts seem to be wildbow's thing)

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Foust
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I haven't, for the simple and selfish reason that I can't find a mobi version of it. Reading long-form stories on the net, clicking between pages, drives me up the wall.
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Rakeesh
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Worm was a lot of fun, to say the least. As for Pact, I started reading it too right after finishing Worm. Eventually, though, I petered out as I was approaching the end of the current span of updates and decided to hit it up again later when it was nearer completion. But it was awesome as well.

------

Another reason I dislike Draco's refusal to actually accept his defeat in the manipulation game at Harry's hands-Draco's leader, so to speak, was happy to send Peter Pettigrew to be tortured for over a decade in Azkaban, when it wasn't even especially important anymore what with Voldemort's defeat. Dumbledore, Harry's leader (even when he didn't know it) wasn't even willing to kill Narcissa Malfoy, even after he got the memories of his own brother being tortured to death.

Yeah, Draco can just go cry himself to sleep, bah.

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Raymond Arnold
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I think Draco's being hypocritical - but that doesn't mean Harry isn't being wildly insensitive.

I did like today's chapter though.

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Rakeesh
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Oh, you're absolutely right there, Raymond. They're both behaving...sub-optimally in the moment for understandable reasons. I think the difference is, though, that this hypocrisy runs deeper than Harry's insensitivity as strange as that seems. Draco has treated it as some sort of treacherous unfairness, every time either him or his farher's views and actions were trumped.

Which wasn't actually his fault either, that entitlement was something taught to him from an early age.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Dude, Harry caused Draco's eyes to be open to the big picture...the one where his father who he worshiped was just a stupid pawn...right before Harry killed him. Not to mention Harry then betrayed Draco so that he couldn't even take shelter in his new friend/mentor. Draco is 11-12 years old, an orphan whose world has just been turned up side down.

Let's see what he has to say about it in say...five years, when he has had some to heal with his mom.

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Rakeesh
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Well, that's why I do pity Draco, yes. My criticism, though, is that Draco was willing and was in fact trying to play games just as tough on Harry. He was doing that even when he thought he had as much an upper hand over Harry as it turned out Harry had over him. He had to be walked in excruciating baby steps to the idea that *maybe* it was potentially as bad for Lilly to be murdered as it was for narcissa. When Harry forced him to face unpleasant truths he wasn't ready for, he tortured him, and even in his own mind his chief concern was in being caught. For torturing someone. Who made him see the truth.

Really, Lucius is the one to scorn, but he got killed by the kid be tried to bankrupt.

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Stone_Wolf_
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But Harry was supposed to be the good guy...Harry went in knowing who & what Draco was...were as Harry was representing himself as TrustWorthy.
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Foust
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Promises such as? Serious question, it's been going on so long I could easily have forgotten.

Off the top of my head,

A scientific/rational explanation of magic (however scare-quoted or pseudo'ed those explanations would be). That entire premise was set aside after, what, chapter 25?

The end of death. I feel like the Humanism arc has just been left hanging.

The destruction of Azkaban.

The prophecy about the destruction of the stars.

The reformation of the wizarding government.

All of these things were on the table, earlier in the story. There's only one chapter left. It's a very, very long story, and none of these big ideas have been resolved.

This is an incredibly unsatisfying ending, unless the last chapter really pulls out all the stops. The Lost of web serials.

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Stone_Wolf_
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I don't agree. This was a year one fanfic....Harry's lifelong goals not fulfilled at age 11, after only one year? Except of course the whole defeating Voldermolt & being handed the keys to the kingdom & a huge fortune & the rebirth of his best friend.

It took the real HP seven years & he didn't even do all that.

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Foust
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
I don't agree. This was a year one fanfic....Harry's lifelong goals not fulfilled at age 11, after only one year? Except of course the whole defeating Voldermolt & being handed the keys to the kingdom & a huge fortune & the rebirth of his best friend.

It took the real HP seven years & he didn't even do all that.

That line of reasoning could be used to justify any ending, including skipping the neutralization of Voldemort, the return of Herminone, etc.

Stories aren't real life; stories have identifiable beginnings, middles, and ends. The beginning and middle of HPMOR are full of elements which are simply dropped from the ending.

It's like if the Death Star was never blown up and never used again, or if a human army stormed and conquered Mordor, or if Peter Parker just decided to become an olympic gymnast. One could tell any of these stories, obviously, but they require a different sort of set up.

HPMOR promised vast changes in its world, and all we got was a super-effective hospital. Big whoop.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by Foust:
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Promises such as? Serious question, it's been going on so long I could easily have forgotten.

Off the top of my head,

A scientific/rational explanation of magic (however scare-quoted or pseudo'ed those explanations would be). That entire premise was set aside after, what, chapter 25?

The end of death. I feel like the Humanism arc has just been left hanging.

The destruction of Azkaban.

The prophecy about the destruction of the stars.

The reformation of the wizarding government.

All of these things were on the table, earlier in the story. There's only one chapter left. It's a very, very long story, and none of these big ideas have been resolved.

This is an incredibly unsatisfying ending, unless the last chapter really pulls out all the stops. The Lost of web serials.

I can't recall if the story or the author ever actually promised to *solve* those or how many of them, or just address them.

That said, use of the Philosopher's Stone will at least put a serious dent in death as a factor in the Wizarding World, using what seems to be one of the foundational items of magic in the world that bypasses a lot of the modern limits in the story on magic.

As the new inheritor of Merlin, Harry just gave instructions to have Azkaban shut down, with an implication that Hermione might destroy it herself.

Amelia Bones, with Harry exerting some control/influence and nearly all of the Death Eaters dead, is in control of the government of magical Britain.

I get that you don't like it, but at least some of your beefs have already been explicitly addressed in the way you claim they haven't been.

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Foust
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Originally posted by Foust:
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Promises such as? Serious question, it's been going on so long I could easily have forgotten.

Off the top of my head,

A scientific/rational explanation of magic (however scare-quoted or pseudo'ed those explanations would be). That entire premise was set aside after, what, chapter 25?

The end of death. I feel like the Humanism arc has just been left hanging.

The destruction of Azkaban.

The prophecy about the destruction of the stars.

The reformation of the wizarding government.

All of these things were on the table, earlier in the story. There's only one chapter left. It's a very, very long story, and none of these big ideas have been resolved.

This is an incredibly unsatisfying ending, unless the last chapter really pulls out all the stops. The Lost of web serials.

I can't recall if the story or the author ever actually promised to *solve* those or how many of them, or just address them.

That said, use of the Philosopher's Stone will at least put a serious dent in death as a factor in the Wizarding World, using what seems to be one of the foundational items of magic in the world that bypasses a lot of the modern limits in the story on magic.

As the new inheritor of Merlin, Harry just gave instructions to have Azkaban shut down, with an implication that Hermione might destroy it herself.

Amelia Bones, with Harry exerting some control/influence and nearly all of the Death Eaters dead, is in control of the government of magical Britain.

I get that you don't like it, but at least some of your beefs have already been explicitly addressed in the way you claim they haven't been.

But all of that happens in a conversation. Where's the scene where Harry tells the Wizengamot how its going to be? He's been planning to take it over from very early on in the story. We've seen how corrupt and useless it is. And the resolution to all that is a single order?

Go back and read the chapter where Harry kills the dementor. Chapter 3 of Humanism, I think. That stirring speech, about how in the future death will just be a scary story for children. What's the resolution to that? A friggin' waiting list.

This is a story where one of the Voyager probes is a magical artifact, where humanities future among the stars is hoped for, and in fact in doubt because of the prophecy about Harry tearing apart the stars.

A prophecy about destroying stars! Yudokowsky wrote a check his ass could not cash.

This ending is like if Leia ordered Luke to go blow up the death star, and the rest of the movie was just her sipping a latte reading the after-action report.

It's terrible, and I cannot believe anyone is defending it.

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Foust
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Just read the last chapter. Turns out it was all a coming of age story!
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Rakeesh
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I'm trying to recall where and when the story promised 'these things Harry believes are really important, he's going to solve them all in his first year, as a twelve year old, sometime within the next six months or so' and I'm drawing a blank.

Your Star Wars analogy is almost spot on. It's not like if Leia told Luke to go destroy the Death Star, and the movie ended with her reading an AAR. The ending you apparently want and think the story somehow promised, would be if Leia said, "Destroy the Death Star, become a Jedi, redeem your father, kill the Emperor, destroy the Death Star II, found the New Republic, and hey defeat Grand Admiral Thrawn too."

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Foust
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
I'm trying to recall where and when the story promised 'these things Harry believes are really important, he's going to solve them all in his first year, as a twelve year old, sometime within the next six months or so' and I'm drawing a blank.

Your Star Wars analogy is almost spot on. It's not like if Leia told Luke to go destroy the Death Star, and the movie ended with her reading an AAR. The ending you apparently want and think the story somehow promised, would be if Leia said, "Destroy the Death Star, become a Jedi, redeem your father, kill the Emperor, destroy the Death Star II, found the New Republic, and hey defeat Grand Admiral Thrawn too."

Up to the second death star, all of that happened in six hours of film, and six hours of film is far less story than nearly 700 000 words.

This wasn't a short story. It's 2/3s the length of the entire Harry Potter book series! It's longer than the Lord of the Rings!

I'm not complaining that Harry didn't solve all these things before the end of his first year, I'm complaining they weren't resolved on screen by the end of the story.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Loved it!
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Stone_Wolf_
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If you want more you could always take up the batton and write it how it should be. I'll read it!
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Seatarsprayan
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It feels weird to be posting in a thread I started almost 5 years ago.

I loved it at first, but I have to agree the story (using story conventions, not by explicit statement of the author) made promises to the reader, that were not delivered on.

Ultimately it was unsatisfying.

But if I hadn't read this story, I wouldn't have found Worm, which is far superior, and when it was over, I *was* satisfied. Worm isn't perfect, but it is very, very good. HPMoR on the other hand... I don't know if I'd really recommend it to anyone anymore... not without a lot of caveats.

By the way, if you liked Worm, but couldn't get into Pact, the author has just started a new web serial and it is pretty gripping so far:

https://twigserial.wordpress.com/

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Raymond Arnold
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I started reading Worm, and found it... sort of depressing? I wasn't in the mood to appreciate the bullying and dysfunctional characters. Nothing wrong with it, but not what I wanted.

I know a lot of people who swear by Worm and Pact, but I haven't been told exactly what makes the story good. Could you briefly describe what's good about it? (if possible, without spoilers)

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Foust
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
I started reading Worm, and found it... sort of depressing? I wasn't in the mood to appreciate the bullying and dysfunctional characters. Nothing wrong with it, but not what I wanted.

I know a lot of people who swear by Worm and Pact, but I haven't been told exactly what makes the story good. Could you briefly describe what's good about it? (if possible, without spoilers)

First, think back to the early days of Lost. The polar bear, the black smoke, the weird statue, the pirate ship. All sorts of strange mysteries. I loved it. But of course, there was very little pay off to any of it.

Worm also has a ton of mysteries, and the resolutions to the mysteries are awesome. Well foreshadowed and thought out.

Second, the world building. This is perhaps a gimme given the sheer length of the story, but there is a wealth of well thought out details about the world, and the behaviour of individuals and groups always makes sense in the context of the world.

The pacing is a mixed bag, but I'd say mostly good. It can sometimes feel like a video game, in that each new villain is increasingly powerful, but their appearances in the story are organic and, again, foreshadowed.

Characterization is more than adequate.

Worm is one of those stories that gets better as it goes on, in every way. The writing is a bit stilted in the beginning, and it can get pretty mired in teenage BS. But none of that lasts.

It's great. The final arc is wonderful; a battle on a near cosmic scale using well-defined powers.

Far superior to HPMOR.

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King of Men
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quote:
I wasn't in the mood to appreciate the bullying and dysfunctional characters.
Give it a chance. As TvTropes notes, "Over the first few plot arcs, though, the story shifts away from the hellish landscape that is contemporary high school towards the more uplifting setting of a bombed out city at the mercy of a roving band of psychopaths."
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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
I started reading Worm, and found it... sort of depressing? I wasn't in the mood to appreciate the bullying and dysfunctional characters. Nothing wrong with it, but not what I wanted.

I know a lot of people who swear by Worm and Pact, but I haven't been told exactly what makes the story good. Could you briefly describe what's good about it? (if possible, without spoilers)

Like I tell most people I recommend Worm to, if you can get up to and through Arc 8 the main story really kicks off and the writing improves exponentially.

Part of this is because the author is still getting her/his bearings in the beginning of the story (and intends to rewrite it at some point), but mainly because of the narrative voice: the story is mostly written from the perspective of a bullied teenage girl and the scope and worldview is almost oppressively claustrophobic and rather bleak and fatalistic at first- for very, very good reasons as you'll find out later in the story. As Taylor grows in confidence, power and maturity the narrative style changes dramatically and expands.

Which is really sort of a parallel of the entire series - the world building is absolutely phenomenal, and the scope of the world smoothly and seamlessly expands into one of the most ambitious sci-fi stories I've ever read. It's one of the few stories in recent years that has given me shivers of excitement and the feeling I literally couldn't read fast enough when I finally realized the big picture. (and indeed, half the fun of the story is figuring out the full context of everything happening within it)

Other than that, I think the character development is absolutely stellar. Nobody holds the "idiot ball" so to speak - intelligent characters actually act intelligently, and the author has the integrity to flesh out what the means to the narrative even when a simpler (but stupid) choice on the part of a character could make the story much easier to tell. A lot of times you'll see situations where you think "why don't they just do 'xyz'"... followed by them doing just that, which is pretty great. (and almost unheard of in the genre)

It also works as a great case study of society, power dynamics, bullying and ostracism, and how we choose to define ourselves socially and culturally and why certain behaviors are "acceptable" and others not and how much sense that really makes. It's a story told from a villain’s perspective (as is Pact) and manages to do so without automatically turning the "heroes" into the "bad guys". (which is a tempting thing to do with stories with villain protagonists) It also goes into why "bullied kid turns into villain" is a lot more likely of a story than "bullied kid turns into superhero", and what sort of societal pressures push people down those paths.

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Seatarsprayan
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I loved Worm because I have spent many pleasant hours daydreaming about having superpowers.

However, perhaps unlike others, I never wish for unbeatable godlike powers... it's not a compelling story, even for a daydream. I think of powers I'd like to have, but then I think of their limitations, their counters, etc.

Most superpowers in stories get grossly underused. Time and again, powers that would solve problems get conveniently forgotten about. I enjoy the new TV show The Flash, but it strains credulity that people like Captain Cold (a guy with a freeze gun) are a threat. He can run up behind them and shoot them with a tranq gun, or even completely hogtie them and disarm them, in half a second. The show tries to make up for this by having the Flash be young, inexperienced, have stuff on his mind, whatever, and it comes close to working, but the fact is the Speed Force is INSANELY powerful, and it's HARD to write about superpowers like that and still have conflict. Ditto Green Lantern rings, Martian Manhunter powers, Kryptonian powers, etc.

In Worm, there are a lot of superpowered people, but most of them aren't to DC/Marvel cosmic scale. (Except for the Endbringers and Scion.)

Furthermore, early on there's a discussion of the "unwritten rules" about why powered folks act the way they do, how they have to keep the status quo, sort of, to enable them to fight the Endbringers, how they are driven to conflict, how they are all traumatized by the events that trigger their powers...

And I bought it. It made sense as an explanation. In-story, I was satisfied. Could I poke holes in it? Sure, but I don't really want to, whereas with a lot of other stuff, the holes are so glaring I can't help but point them out.

So Worm is a story where super-powered people use their powers intelligently. Instead of conveniently forgetting their powers to drive the plot, they have to try like crazy to make their powers effective... they practice with them, they strategize, they TRY.

It's the closest thing I've ever read to the way I would treat superpowers if I had them. I don't mean violence, I mean "how would I use superpowers *in the real world?*"

Is Worm perfect? No. The protagonist, while I respect her fighting skills, makes a lot of horrible decisions, and that's frustrating... but the underlying grimdark she has to deal with gives it an excuse. (I have less excuse for why her father is so useless though. Someday I will get back to work on my fanfic where Danny triggers with powers that make him a good dad :-)

The protagonist has powers that at first she doesn't think are that impressive. (Knowing something of entomology, though, I immediately thought otherwise.) But she leverages what she has over and over in situations where I keep thinking she will finally lose, and she keeps pulling victories (sometimes Pyrrhic of course) out of the fire... and that is pretty satisfying to me. I like to see someone smart and competent WIN. But in canon she doesn't just effortlessly roll over every obstacle... it's a struggle, it has a cost.

I like it because the protagonist escalates. So much other fiction, they don't escalate when they should. Even though the story posits a reason why the status quo exists... the protagonist ignores all that and escalates again and again, and so do the stakes of the story...

Even after getting to the end of the story, the earlier chapters still seem important. By rights the stakes at the beginning should be insignificant with what is faced at the end, but I still care somehow. So I guess I identified with enough of the characters.

And now the new story, Twig, has a protagonist who is apparently a master at lying and manipulation - skills I don't have in real life, and I don't appreciate at all, but in a story I do because the protagonist, while certainly imperfect, is *competent*.

I guess that's why I couldn't get into Pact, the protagonist was just thrown in the deep end and was drowning the whole time, always reacting to what other people threw at him... I didn't want to feel powerless while reading it.

With Worm, I felt this "oo-rah" whenever the protagonist managed to eke out another impossible victory... followed by "oh crud" when things then immediately got worse... it was an emotional roller coaster the whole ride.

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Aris Katsaris
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I admire Worm. I believe it's one of the most well-thought out settings for superhuman stories out there. Construction by a single author who tries to think about how society would behave on all levels due to parahuman activity certainly outdoes the rather random way that the DC & Marvel universes were gradually pieced together over the decades...

And because of that, because of how *varied* the powers of parahumans can be, while still *naturally* parts of the same setting, I've also greatly enjoyed a number of Worm fanfics and how varied in tone they can be. Fic where Taylor's body is a gate to a universe of Lovecraftian monstrosities (that she befriends). Fics where she triggers with the powers of Lung. Fics where she becomes a *friend* and partner of Amy Dallon. Fics where she has a power-stealing power, and uses it to create about 4 or so different masked personas, one for each power she has stolen. Fics where her power is making corpse duplicates of herself. A series of fics where Taylor triggered with each of the powers of Slaughterhouse Nine. Hilarious :-)

I follow r/WormFanfic which often has good suggestions of decent Worm fics to read. A few of them don't even follow the 'Taylor triggers with a different power' formula. ;-)

Keep in mind that pretty much all the fics will of course have spoilers for Worm proper of things that you wouldn't get spoiled.

---

Returning briefly to HPMOR, whether you liked or were disappointed by the ending (for me it was part column A and part column B) I'd like to recommend Following the Phoenix an HPMOR-fic that diverges from HPMOR at the chapter of Hermione's trial.

I really *really* enjoyed Following the Phoenix, and I believe it did certain things better than even HPMOR proper did -- I was happier with how it brought different threads together, whereas in the actual HPMOR, many of the sidecharacters and events that happened earlier disappointingly didn't actually seem to end up mattering very much in the finale. I *highly* recommend it.

Secondarily, another HPMOR fic I enjoyed was Harry Potter & the Cryptographic Key. Not quite as highly recommending this as Following the Phoenix, but still I quite liked it.

Lastly, not quite in the same vein as the previous two (much shorter) but perhaps atleast as masterfully written as either of the previous, the awesome Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Zombie by the even awesomer alexanderwales

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Raymond Arnold
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Halfway through Following the Phoenix. It's sort of inconsistently good. I like the general thrust of the story - a much more proactive Harry, who's actually working with other people now. The prose is sometimes solid and sometimes kind of meh.

Just read Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Zombie, which was excellent for the sort of thing it is.

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Wingracer
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Following the Phoenix sounds interesting. If I quit on HPMoR a couple years ago (not because I didn't like it, just tired of waiting on updates just to get a meh chapter) should I go ahead and read it or finish HPMoR first?
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Raymond Arnold
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If you still liked HPMoR, you should finish HPMoR, since it's all there now.

Following the phoenix starts at HPMoR chapter 86, so you should at least read up till there. I think it has pros and cons vs Classic HPMOR

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Raymond Arnold
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(Update: I'm actually having trouble finishing Following the Phoenix. The ideas are good but the prose just isn't good enough to keep me into it)
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Raymond Arnold
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On the flipside, I did find this other fiction that seems inspired by both HPMoR *and* Worm. (at least, And it's short, and is finished)

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10360716/1/The-Metropolitan-Man

It's about Lex Luthor, Lois and Superman. I think it does a better job of showcasing a wider array of "rational" thinkers, whose thinking change over time.

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Heisenberg
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Aris

I enjoyed reading your suggestions. Do you have any other recommendations for rationality type fanfics, Potter/Worm or otherwise?

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ricree101
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quote:

I really *really* enjoyed Following the Phoenix, and I believe it did certain things better than even HPMOR proper did -- I was happier with how it brought different threads together, whereas in the actual HPMOR, many of the sidecharacters and events that happened earlier disappointingly didn't actually seem to end up mattering very much in the finale. I *highly* recommend it.

I liked a lot of things that it did, but ultimately I think it felt weaker than MOR. You're right, that it hit some of the themes (especially regarding cooperation and encouraging the spread of knowledge and rationality). And it was nice that Hermione got her phoenix despite Harry's intent, rather than via a trick (admittedly, one that relies on Hermione being the exact type of person who would get one, but the circumstance was still a bit contrived).

The war, in particular, was conceptually neat, but fell somewhat flat to me. I also much prefer the MOR philosopher stone to the ftp version. And though it left a bunch of threads dangling, I really liked the MOR ending, which is more than I can say for FTP.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
I enjoyed reading your suggestions. Do you have any other recommendations for rationality type fanfics, Potter/Worm or otherwise?
Should I be blushing? :-) I'm happy you enjoyed them.

Anyone here's some more suggestions of mine:

MLP: FiM fanfiction:

I highly recommend Friendship is Optimal -- you don't need to have any knowledge whatsoever in regards to "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic", other than the knowledge which you probably already have that it's a highly successful cartoon series featuring colorful magical ponies -- the story is not really quite an MLP fanfic, it's more of an original SF story dealing with MLP as part of its background. And it's awesome.

Once you've read that I also recommend the following alternate take on the Optimalverse: Friendship Is Optimal: Caelum Est Conterrens (Heaven is Terrifying).

Naruto fanfiction:

I *highly* recommend The Waves Arisen. I have only ever seen a handful of eps of Naruto, but I didn't have much trouble following the plot (though I didn't quite understand the role of some side-characters). And it's awesome.

Personally I'd also recommend Time Braid. Though it's probably not quite as deliberately 'rationalist' as Waves Arisen, it nonetheless involves characters acting intelligently, experimenting to discover the limits of their powers, seeking to maximize their potential, etc, etc. A warning about this fic which is a dealbreaker for some people: It includes teenagers having significant amounts of sex. Plus, there's also a surprise crossover with another anime series (which I was more familiar with) later in its plot. I loved that crossover personally, but people only familiar with Naruto and not with the other series may have been going "Whaaa???"

Twilight fanfiction:

I think Luminosity by Alicorn may have been the second deliberately rationalist fanfic ever written (with Harry Potter & the Methods of Rationality being the first).

This story and its sequel (Radiance) became a bit too grim towards the end for me to recommend quite as highly as my previous suggestion, but still I think it's required reading if you're interested in rationalist stories. Unlike Eliezer, Alicorn focuses a bit more on her protagonists having self-awareness and less on them doing science. (The story begins with Bella saying "My favorite three questions are, What do I want?, What do I have?, and How can I best use the latter to get the former?")

--

Lastly, do subscribe to http://www.reddit.com/r/rational/ and receive further suggestions from time to time. :-)

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