I must confess I am a little disappointed in today's Pottermore announcement. While Rowling's idea is certainly innovative, I was hoping for new books set in the Harry Potter universe even if they included new characters.
From the reports that are available, Pottermore appears to combine elements of message boards, on-line role-playing games, and a virtual encyclopedia Potterica, including bits of information or story that Rowling used in creating her universe but which did not go into the stories of the seven books.
Although the author made clear that she had "no plans to write another novel", the fresh Potter material – to be unveiled later this year - already stretches to 18,000 words about the novels' characters, places and objects, with more to come. From Professor McGonagall's love for a Muggle as a young woman, to how the Dursleys met (Petunia was working in an office); from new information about Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff houses, to details about wand wood, Rowling's writing will be just one part of the richly interactive, free Pottermore.com website, which is intended to bring the Harry Potter storylines to interactive life for readers.
The material will be used on the new, free Pottermore website, a collaborative project for fans set in the Harry Potter universe. "I wanted to give something back to the fans that have followed Harry so devotedly over the years, and to bring the stories to a new generation," Rowling revealed. "I hope fans and those new to Harry will have as much fun helping to shape Pottermore as I have. Just as I have contributed to the website, everyone else will be able to join in by submitting their own comments, drawings and other content in a safe and friendly environment. Pottermore has been designed as a place to share the stories with your friends as you journey through the site." The website will open first to a million users who register first on 31 July – Harry's birthday. These users will help shape the site, with its full launch to all users to take place in October.
Pottermore will also sell the long-awaited ebook versions of the Harry Potter books directly to users from October, as well as digital audiobooks. "
Its great to see this Tolkien level of depth to the Harry Potter universe, but as a Star Wars fan, I am used to new stories with the characters that I love, there is always another book on the horizon. Hopefully someday Rowling returns to the universe of Harry Potter with more tales to entertain another generation of fans.
SOURCES: The Guardian and Pottermore