Harry Potter and the Book of the Future

I learned to read by sounding out The Lord of the Rings sentence by sentence, an experience that pretty much set my fantasy genre prejudices in stone : one dimensional villains, orc hewing, hardy little people (obviously Willow was a big hit with me). So when Harry Potter made his debut I shrugged it off: what wizard can compete with Gandalf? And then (only a few weeks ago!) I saw the movies. It was a conversion experience. The first two films are a little baggy and by the numbers, but the later films are excellent, emotionally involving far beyond any temporary concerns that Gandalf might have died fighting the Balrog. The films also solved a big riddle for me: every time I’ve described Vook to a friend, they’ve said: “That’s so Harry Potter.” I had no idea what they were talking about. Then I saw the Daily Prophet and realized: Of course—we’re building something similar to the Harry Potter newspaper. Sure, it’s a bit more complicated than that, but when I saw the recent Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with its snazzy Daily Prophet fonts and page lay out, I began to think that Vook might realize Clarke’s Third Law. For those of you who aren’t science fiction geeks, that law reads: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

Check out the video of the Daily Prophet, and please forgive the awful background music the YouTube poster edited into the clip:

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