If Book Releases Were Like Software Releases

by | Aug 5, 2014 | Fantasy Commentary, Musing & Brain Teasers | 2 comments

Lord of the Rings Release Notes

The software industry is a strange animal. Most software isn’t considered done when it gets released; people expect there to be changes, improvements, and fixes for the inevitable bugs that weren’t fixed (or often even found) before it got into the hands of users. Can you imagine if books were written that way?

I tried to.

Warning: some spoilers

Game of Thrones v1.0.7


  • Added Arya POV

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where Ned survived beheading
  • Hair color updated on all Baratheon children
  • Readers can no longer get stuck reading all text in Dothraki
  • Removed talking sword beta-reader reward from standard edition

Known Issues

  • Hodor speech bugged
  • Bran still having poorly explained visions

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone v0.8.1 (Beta)


  • Improved description of Quidditch rules
  • Changed name from “Philosopher’s Stone” to placate anti-philosophy readers [American edition]

Bug Fixes

  • Removed hakuna matata spell per Disney C&D letter
  • Fixed an issue with Hogwarts staircases getting stuck, preventing plot advancement
  • Closing the book mid-chapter will no longer devour bookmarks
  • Dudley no longer sorted into Slytherin. He should never have been at Hogwarts
  • Hagrid’s motorcycle changed from 1977 Suzuki Gt 750 to Enfield Bullet Classic
  • Hermione is no longer killed by the troll
  • Removed Hermione funeral scene
  • Spells no longer function in real world

Known Issues

  • All the Dursleys are still unforgivable prats

The Fellowship of the Ring v1.1.3


  • Tom Bombadil added
  • Elvish language created, added to text with unique typeset

Bug Fixes

  • Resolved a bug where Gollum sometimes has the One Ring
  • Nazgul no longer appear green in some editions
  • Eye of Sauron no longer stares at readers directly
  • Ents are from the upcoming Two Towers DLC and were not intended to be accessible in Fellowship. Readers who read ent passages will not be required to reread corrected chapters.
  • Puzzle door to Moria made more obscure
  • Readers no longer forced to read in Middle English
  • Day-by-day travelogue removed. Some travel scenes deleted.
  • Gandalf no longer challenges the balrog to “make my day” [American edition]
  • Strider and Aragorn are no longer two separate characters

Known Issues

  • Middle Earth using Gregorian Calendar
  • Unremarkable hobbit still has more willpower than Gondor steward’s heir [developer note: working as intended]

Hunger Games v0.0.6 (Alpha)


  • Added sister for Katniss (Prim)
  • Added television element to combat event (significantly improves plot, special thanks to readerdude1987 for this suggestion)

Bug Fixes

  • Cornucopia no longer spawns automatic weapons
  • Fixed an issue where Katniss would occasionally miss shots with her bow
  • Gale is no longer the male tribute from District 12
  • Haymitch no longer sobers up
  • Email address removed for entries in actual Hunger Games [for insurance reasons, we were unable to host our own games]
  • Explicit reference to West Virginia removed

Known Issues

  • Prose still written in first-person present tense [developer note: working as intended]
  • Children still brutally murdering one another [developer note: that’s the point]

How the Grinch Stole Christmas v 2.9.12


  • Added dog for Grinch
  • Added additional nonsense for television adaptation
  • Added songs for television adaptation

Bug Fixes

  • Grinch no longer fails to achieve heart-enlargement when Whos sing
  • Cindy-Lou Who age changed from four to preserve rhyme
  • Christmas no longer comes from a store

Known Issues

  • Size incompatibility with Whos from “Horton Hears a Who”
  • Dog should not be able to pull laden sled [developer note: we are working with top physicists and zoologists to resolve this issue]

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  1. C

    I like it!


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