Today I used my favorite file sharing network to try find the new HP book. It was the News hype that forced me into it. All this talk of security for the Lauch of book 5 got me interested in seeing if the ‘net had copies floating about.
Purely in the interests of science I therefore dutifully logged on and started looking for files with the ‘Order of the Phoenix’ Title. About 20 different versions turned up. What the Hell, I tagged them all and went off for din dins.
A few minutes later (I’m a fast eater and rather an animal at the table), I’m back at the keyboard and most of the files have finished. Dump the Sharing tool, Raise the Firewall and relax to start reading.
An initial skim through the files got rid of about half of them: Ripped versions of JK’s earlier books with the title changed (Doh). Interesting that they were so easy to grab though.
Two more dumped as obvious rubbish: far too short and riddled with inconsistencies in grammar (and I’m no expert!)
This leaves 3 texts which in preview all look identical. Cool, all power to the information ages thinks I. As the three versions were all different formats (One Text, One PDF, One Word), I elect to start on the real mens version and make a start with vi.
I got sucked in, as you do, and after about 10 minutes, there are some odd things happening. I can’t really define odd in any detail, something just didn’t feel right. I start skimming rather than reading now and am looking at the story texture rather than the words themselves. Eventually it grabbed me: it’s a bit flat.
Somehow the narration and the dialog seem a tiny bit two dimensional, sort of like reading a translation. Surprised, I begin to skim through the book. The story is excellent: the dramatic twists are smart, the plot plausible and the characters seem to behave in familiar fashions. There are even tiny undertones of adult subjects, just like in the other HP books.
My initial guess was that this was an early draft or OCR’d rip and that the editor had done so much correction that much of the tapestry was lost, so I went over to the .doc version. No fruit here, obviously from an identical source as everything was word perfect (Except the file format, smirk), even the double spaces etc.
Over to the final undiscarded version and in this one, being PDF, there was more MetaData. Mainly I mean that there was a website listed at the top, http://hpfanfiction.net/books/book5/. ‘bit blatant’ thinks I: ‘Don’t advertise your rip site, you’ll get in trouble!’ CLICK goes I and all is clear: I’ve been had!
I know you’re probably not surprised, probably been shouting this at me while reading this article, but I was flumoxed. It transpires than an enterprising HP Fan site has got so bored waiting for JK to write these books that they’ve taken matters into their own hands and darn well written their own!
All in all these are really clever works: I’m pretty sure that if you gave one to little johnny, he’d be hard pushed to tell it apart and would keenly devour it.
The website makes all clear: the guy has a forum where poeple can discuss suggested storylines and the final product is the sensible median ground of these musings. Output rate is better than the real authoress though as book 6 is complete too! [ed: actually, JK has already finished the final book: it’s all about market control though!]
Of course this only serves to hype the real book for me even more now: I want the chance to compare story lines and see if hive mind or richest woman write the best story.
Check it out for yourself, I think you’ll understand how I got suckerd!
As a footnote, I really could not find a _real_ version of JKR’s new work. Frankly I’m really surprised. I’m tempted to queue in Crawley just so I can get something from a shop that can be bought BEFORE it hits’ the Net!