Have you ever wondered whether some books would be better if the author had rewritten them after they were done? I have wondered that about the Harry Potter books.

I read the original Harry Potter books back when they came out, and even though I found them quite entertaining, they have many flaws. They got progressively worse as their universe became more complicated and they tried to have a deeper story. But it definitely shows in the books that J.K. Rowling did not have a grand plan and was basically just making stuff up as she went. In the words of nexes300:

Rowling showed absolutely no planning of the universe past the third book and added things as she liked. Also, Hogwarts is a failure of a school, and Harry and his friends are terrible magic users.

I also disliked the unidimensional characters. In Harry Potter’s universe you are either good or evil, there are no in betweens. Still, the books are entertaining.

Last weekend I had a cold, and I serendipitously got a tip from the brown dragon about a new fan fiction Harry Potter book.

…​if you are the type of person who read Harry Potter and thought:

  • Set up experiments to test magic

  • Witches turn into CATS? …​But…​but…​but…​ What about conservation of mass?

  • Gringots deals in gold? There are arbitrage opportunities between muggles and the wizarding world!

  • I have a Time turner? I can try to prove that P == NP

And when I saw who the author [1] was, I had to read it.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality is the best Harry Potter book that I’ve read. If you enjoyed the original series and you like science I cannot recommend it enough.[2]

1. Yeah, that Yudkowsky, perhaps you remember him from here.
2. With just one caveat, the work isn’t finished. Don’t expect the story to end.