|Reviews for Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality|
| gwern chapter 20 . 5/9/2010
"I subscribe to a Muggle bulletin which keeps me informed of progress on space travel. I didn't hear about Pioneer 10 until they reported its launch. But when I discovered that Pioneer 11 would also be leaving the Solar System forever," Professor Quirrell said, his grin the widest that Harry had yet seen from him, "I snuck into NASA, I did, and I cast a little spell on that lovely golden plaque which will make it last a lot longer than it otherwise would."
I thought it was the probe which was lasting longer than it was supposed to - I mean, gold is kind of known for its stability.
(Thinks: Voldemort horcruxed the Pioneer plaque.)
D'oh! D'oh! I read the part about the evil smile, and didn't even realize that! And me an Evangelion fan too!
5h) Talks about "pretending to lose", which he learned through a horribly humiliating experience in a martial arts monastery which was wiped out by Lord Voldemort shortly thereafter, except for one student who was a friend of his and
Actually, that anecdote changed me from 'Quirrel is Voldemort' to 'Quirrel is a split personality' - why would Voldemort-who-is-Quirrel come *back* to the monastery and demand lessons? (He already had them! If he wanted demon-fighting skillz, he should've just stayed; threatening the master gains him nothing - the basics are *prerequisites* as Quirrel-Voldemort would know of course.) Whereas that makes perfect sense if Voldemort-is-a-sub-personality-acting-out-the-original's-repressed-desires-a-la-_Fight-Club_ - revenge for the humiliation.
| BluePard chapter 20 . 5/9/2010
I love that this fic has a rational hero who thinks. You don't see that much. The deconstruction of HP is fun, but this is also very fun on its own merits. I love Hermione's cute ability to nerd harder than anyone, and Draco's insta-switch from "okay guy" to "scary creepster". Plus, it's so nice to have a villain who's more cunning than Scooby-doo. I hope you keep writing these, they're very entertaining.
| R. Donald James Gauvreau chapter 20 . 5/9/2010
I love this Quirrel. Love him so much.
It's going to be sad, to see him go.
I'm almost hoping that Quirrel can manage to bring Harry over (and I wonder how Voldie was reacting to hearing Quirrel talk about how much of an idiot the Dark Lord was).
| Guest chapter 20 . 5/9/2010
Back in the hogawarts exspress chapter where harry first spoke to draco and planted the seeds of dobut. I could not help but flash back to when Cortana from Halo said:
"It is a great irony how war reveals the true nature of those who fight, and from their earliest days, mankind fought. It swarmed over the earth and there was no end in sight, and amidst the desire to shed blood, man stumbled upon the seeds of his salvation. A great hope. But man found something else as well, the seeds of his destruction. There were many sacrifices, human kind was mired in horrific conflict. Meaningless blood shed, leaving the great earth eternally scarred. But finally he looked up from the blood, the dirt, the dying...to the stars. Man had not giving up on the idea of reaching out, yearning, seeking a new horizon. Seeking a new space to grow, and prosper. For the first time all of human kind was united in a shared vision... A common goal. Man then realized that this once great planet, Earth, was now too small for him. There were too many souls, on so little a world. So man sought other worlds."
As well as the vivid imagery that went with it, and in this chapter I kept thinking about many of the key lines of what Cortana said, and what Qurrell said. I also can't help but think what Oppenheimer said about building the bomb. "And it burned with the raidence of a thousand suns... behold i have become death the destroyer of worlds." and what the test site manager of the trinity bomb said when the bomb dropped. "Now were all sons-a-bitches"
Keep up the excellent work. But I think you should add in a OC. A student probably older. Just as smart, resourceful, and cunning. think of this as a example. If Qurrell is a Mace Windu (council member) and Dumbledore is Yoda (master of the order (if a bit arrogant and wacked out of his mind)), shouldn't padawan Harry have his Obi-wan?
Also watch the move "Revolver" (2005) with Jason Stratham. The rules made are awesome, and so is the ending credits clips. A good type of mindset to put opposite Harry. Especially if it is his OC obi-wan architipe.
| daniel14541 chapter 20 . 5/9/2010
| Dormant Account 24 chapter 20 . 5/9/2010
Just like your Dumbledore was the best I've seen in fanfiction, I find your Quirrell to also be amazing.
| Scarlet - again chapter 20 . 5/9/2010
Fantastic! The TV Tropes page links to something else you've written - original Sci-Fi!
I'll certainly be reading THAT sometime this week :). Hopefully there's more of your work lurking about the web somewhere - your style is ridiculously engaging.
| NihilCredo chapter 20 . 5/9/2010
IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS MEASURABLE AND FALSIFIABLE please DELETE that last sentence.
The chapter was otherwise good-to-excellent, but the final line is jarringly absurd, unsubtle, and lacking any usefulness to the development of the story. It felt like you let your mildly brain damaged cousing get a sentence in your work. Even the best slip up from time to time; please, remove it.
| devoted2know chapter 19 . 5/9/2010
Bravo, bravo! Very well written, I enjoyed this chapter very much. This lesson Harry learned, while hard, is one I feel that many people who are in positions of power and of leadership should learn to benefit their subordinates; leaders of companies initiating take-overs of other companies, teachers at schools, congressmen and presidents (especially presidents!), as well as military personnel. Perhaps a lesser version for some that they might choose their battles more wisely and thusly be able to benefit their company/constituents longer!
| Adam Shea chapter 20 . 5/9/2010
How in the name of the light is Harry supposed to recover the plaque from Pioneer 11 (it's a Horcrux)?
Also, kudos on devising a Dark Lord that has at least thought of the Evil Overlord List (google it).
| MatsumotoXD chapter 20 . 5/9/2010
YESSSSSS! xD The ending made me rolling on the floor laughing! Priceless! The way you depict Voldemort is just soooooo appropriate! The canon one is a pathetic violent brainless bastard who rules with fear and doesn't take advantage of situations which are being shoved into his face. This one is cunning and just purely awesome 3 Fit of evil laughter indeed xD
I love it how you're exploring Harry's and Voldemort's relationship and their characters and I guess once you set the boy on the right track you're going to go more fast forward and get the plot going? I've read some reviews and was surprised because it really hadn't bothered me before and I didn't even notice it, but you really focused wholeheartedly on character development and we have no idea what's going to happen in the future and what is awaiting Harry. I think Rowling herself didn't develop her main character so well. You have my praise. Thank you also for the super fast update! The best gift ever for the day before monday ;) :*
| Scarlet chapter 20 . 5/9/2010
Oh, come now, surely you don't think your readers are idiots enough to need that last line? Sledgehammer, when you've already indicated beautifully that things are up with him (the puppetry imagery of earlier chapters, for example).
... wait. I've read some of the other reviews. Perhaps you're right :). But pretty, pretty please, don't pander! Obvious sledgehammer points are at odds with the relative subtlety of the rest of the story. If someone can't figure it out themselves, they'll get there *eventually*, and what a jolly little surprise they will have.
God, that spell to replicate space. What a wonderful way to win Harry's emotions. Quirrell knows exactly how to push his buttons :). I recall his rather swift rejection of Harry's suggestion for #1 on the Dark Lord list, avoid complex plans and just off your enemy, heh.
DELIGHTED by such a swift update :).
| Ossi chapter 20 . 5/9/2010
The following has been written as a reply to Author's Notes for Ch. 20
I very rarely read fanfic and I was guided to this by a friend around chapter 12. I've liked every chapter so far. Some better than the others. But last 3 chapters have been, while fun to read, confusing. Mainly because is difficult to follow the motives of characters displeyed.
This boils down to your 5(!) point display on your notes of identity of Quirrell. That is, related to canon, what has been changed and what not.
I started reading this fanfic in a delusion that the major change was the rationalist!Harry. Every time I come across something else that feels changed I feel confused. And it seems to me like many others might feel like wise. Ofcourse you have given us anecdotes like "frodo jedi - sauron deathstar" and plenty of what you might call "hints" in the text. But it still seems confusing to meet very diffrent an/protagonist than expected. This is mainly because no reason for the change is given.
So while you "know" the characters and their motives, readers don't. This is pretty normal for fiction but in fanfic readers have expectations of the characters base on canon. And unless we are given reason to doubt those expectations, as has been the case with Harry, we might feel a bit cheated when they are not met.
So to summarize: We have been told the reasons for Harry being diffrent. The whole premise of this fanfic. But we've also encountered two characters that are diffrent and two who seem to be dead. No reason has been given to these diffrences.
Thank you for reading this and also writing the fine story. I've replyed because I wanted to tell my opnion why some people (including me) might feel confused about some aspects of your work.
| F.A.R chapter 20 . 5/9/2010
The joy you've brought to us is inexpressible, especially given the limited means humans have for communicating emotion and the current impossibility of verifying whether two humans are, in fact, experiencing identical experiential states. I find this work of yours to be at times far more enjoyable than the original HP series, although that's only possible because of my familiarity with that series and with the genre of fan fiction you expertly toy with. With each chapter, I ponder what I'd say, but I haven't previously had enough criticism to be helpful or any praise that would be unique. I love the story; of course I love the story. We all love it because it's stunningly good. I must ask, however: why did you think the edited final sentence necessary? It's clear from your note that you expect complaints, so here's one. I had been enjoying, prior to Chapter 20, wondering whether it was Quirrell or Harry's scar that was different in your version of the story (inclusive "or", that is). Is Quirrell's role in the next chapter so vile that you had to signal unambiguously that he isn't a spokesman for the author? Rather, let me ask: you say that "the reader is genuinely supposed to know" that rationality!Quirrell is really the big V. What would a reader lose by not knowing that (other than savoring the terrible fix Harry's now in), and is preventing that loss worth completely breaking your prior style and voice for a one-line scene that serves only to say, "This character is the villain and I can't think of a good way to convey that unambiguously"?
Other than that, I've been avidly reading this story, which grabs me in a way that none of the unprinted fan fiction I've read before - and little printed material, at that - has been able to accomplish. Aside from the humor of Chapter 5 & proceeding, one of your accomplishments that I like best is your treatment of Minerva McGonagall. It's hard enough to imagine Rowling's characters as people, just given the awful name choices ("Sirius Black"? I wonder what his gimmick is!), but Rowling really trapped McGonagall in a pigeonhole, and I didn't even realize how flat her character was until you gave us a shot from her P.O.V. For forever changing the way I view her character, without remaking her, I thank you.
I still don't have a handle on this Dumbledore, though. His motivations are harder to infer than in canon, given the increased oddity of his actions, which might just be due to his being far more blatant in trying to get Harry to trust him blindly. I'm looking forward to seeing you explain that. Having Fawkes be a phoenix after all did illustrate his point nicely, though, or so I thought - but not nicely enough to explain his demeanor. I'm just assuming that the changes in his persona involve changes to your setting and aren't just the result of stylistic differences between you and ol' J.K.
I have one other pointed criticism, however, which is that you're sloppy with point of view. It seems as though your narration style is contingently omniscient, able to assume any point of view but only one at a time. In some scenes (e.g., when Harry and McGonagall talk in earlier chapters - in fact, my memory reports that it's usually when McGonagall is on stage, but I might be incorrect), P.O.V. seems to flit about like a bewildered songbird. Do tame it, please, as the motion is giving me a headache. It's useful for a reader (or at least, for this reader) to have a point of view that's consistent for any given scene, but if you must switch P.O.V. in order to convey vital information, please discover a means to end up in that character's perspective for more than a fleeting moment. If nothing else, the sudden shift in viewpoint makes the importance of that character's information obvious. It's nice to have a little help in figuring out what one should note, but sudden P.O.V. shifts can feel patronizing, as if one's being thrown a bone.
Then again, I may be wrong! Perhaps I'm an outlier when it comes to P.O.V. annoyances; I'm certainly not endowed with such free time that I can check the entire backlog of comments for the frequency of criticisms similar to my own. In any case, please do keep writing, as - despite the hiccups like Chapter 20's edited last line - I and many of my friends hang on these chapters like a rat waiting for the next drop of morphine. I don't read much fan fiction, but if you keep this up, it'll be more dear to me than "A Study in Emerald".
Thank you also for Harry's stumbling but endearing justification for not wanting to be the next Dark Lord. I can't stand it when emotion is written as a force somehow opposed to reason, so I appreciate having a rationalist hero who explicitly embraces compassion.
- F.A.R. out
| Hayden Elrics chapter 20 . 5/9/2010
is quiri-man really possessed? i really really hope not :(