Another rationalist protagonist takes on "magic"

by [anonymous]1 min read18th Nov 20106 comments


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Along with the rest of the lesswrong community, I've been enjoying "Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality." 

I would like to heartily recommend another series with similar themes:

The Steerswoman's Road, by Rosemary Kirstein

Like HP:MOR, we have a protagonist applying scientific methods to understand "magic".  Unlike HP:MOR, this protagonist doesn't have the benefit of an accumulated body of knowledge on science and rationality (the setting is medieval era technology, more or less). Refreshingly and realistically, though, her pursuits are part of a larger collaboration, the "steerswomen", a group devoted to furthering and freely disseminating human knowledge.  Unlike HP, the protagonist has to be confused (about things we as readers already know) not just for minutes, but for years. We are painstakingly led through every step and misstep of her reasoning. 

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[-][anonymous]11y 0

Thanks. Alas, the early books are not available electronically. Though Amazon has very cheap used versions.

If you PM me your email address, I can get you a PDF of the first book.

I'm currently reading the first book and loving it.

Recording a prediction: Gur fcryy ba gur purfg vf ryrpgevp. Ebjna naq gur fnvybef ner vzzhar orpnhfr gurl jrne ehoore-fbyrq obbgf.

Sounds like it must be worth cross-posting at Rationalist Fiction.

You know, I've been thinking I'd like to see someone more familiar with that series write a Rationalist Ranma 1/2. It's been prone to all sorts of stories with the basic premise of "how about if the protagonist had been raised in X fashion"; this would fit in nicely.