Harry Potter and the Method of Rationality is a piece of pretty amazing and extensive fanfiction written by Eliezer Yudkowsky between 2010 and 2015. If you keep asking yourself why characters in stories, especially in the fantasy genre, never seem to question the many peculiar things that are happening to them, this fanfiction gives you a Harry Potter who relentlessly questions the strangeness and illogicalness of the wizard world.
I grew up with the Harry Potter novels and I’ve always been a bit of a fan, but only ten chapters in, I would recommend this clever and amusing alternative course of wizard history even to those not as enamoured with the franchise, and especially to those with an inquisitive mind who cherish science and rational thought.
Here’s a little excerpt from Chapter 10, Harry’s encounter with the Sorting Hat:
“Oh, dear. This has never happened before…”
“I seem to have become self-aware.”
There was a wordless telepathic sigh. “Though I contain a substantial amount of memory and a small amount of independent processing power, my primary intelligence comes from borrowing the cognitive capacities of the children on whose heads I rest. I am in essence a sort of mirror by which children Sort themselves. But most children simply take for granted that a Hat is talking to them and do not wonder about how the Hat itself works, so that the mirror is not self-reflective. And inparticular they are not explicitly wondering whether I am fully conscious in the sense of being aware of my own awareness.”
There was a pause while Harry absorbed all this.
Edit: I finished the book and it’s really, really awesome! It’s so profound, exciting and clever, I’m just sad it ended.