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Old 01-24-2020, 03:24 PM
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Examples of Special Editions/Director's Cuts/Final Editions etc. but in literature


Could you provide some notorious instances where author/publisher went back and fixed some plot holes, expanded the story, I mean basically changed in a significant way an already released and popular book?
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Old 01-24-2020, 03:28 PM
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A Clockwork Orange comes to mind.
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Old 01-24-2020, 03:33 PM
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Stephen King released an an unabridged edition of The Stand in 1990, billed as "The Complete and Uncut Edition".
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Old 01-24-2020, 03:33 PM
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Really? I admit I've only watched the movie, but never heard about the book being changed...

EDIT: Was referring to Clockwork Orange, should've quoted, sorry...

Last edited by Qwertol; 01-24-2020 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 01-24-2020, 03:33 PM
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Tolkien went back and changed a couple of details in The Hobbit, to make it more consistent with The Lord of the Rings. The justification was that the previous account was according to Bilbo, and he whitewashed a couple of points in his favor, but that "new evidence" had uncovered "the truth".
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Old 01-24-2020, 03:35 PM
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Oh, just remembered another one: Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land was first published in a highly condensed version, but then once he had enough clout, he went back and re-published it in its original, longer form.
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Old 01-24-2020, 03:38 PM
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J.R.R. Tolkien made some revisions to The Hobbit (particularly in the riddle scene between Bilbo and Gollum), which were incorporated into the second edition (1951).

He later made further revisions, which went into the third edition (1966), to bring the story better into line with The Lord of the Rings, and the then-still-unpublished Silmarillion.

Edit: ninja'd by Chronos.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 01-24-2020 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 01-24-2020, 03:38 PM
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Oh, just remembered another one: Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land was first published in a highly condensed version, but then once he had enough clout, he went back and re-published it in its original, longer form.
So "radio edit" but of a book?
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Old 01-24-2020, 03:39 PM
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I seem to remember hearing that Walt Whitman continually revised Leaves of Grass right up until his death.
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Old 01-24-2020, 03:43 PM
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And, speaking of Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings has also experienced a number of revisions over the years, originally by the Professor himself, then led by his son Christopher after the elder Tolkien's death. Though, most of those revisions appear to be small, and ironing out inconsistencies in the stories (and inconsistencies between different editions).

Last edited by kenobi 65; 01-24-2020 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 01-24-2020, 03:49 PM
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Really? I admit I've only watched the movie, but never heard about the book being changed...

EDIT: Was referring to Clockwork Orange, should've quoted, sorry...
The original US edition left off a chapter at the end. It's arguable as to whether that was a good or a bad thing.

Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie was considered too sordid in its original form and that edition was not published until 1981. I took a literature course a few years later. I had that edition; most of the class had the older one. The endings were different, which created confusion (I'm thinking, "that didn't happen" when people discussed it).

David Gerrold released When Harlie Was One in 1972, then When Harlie Was One (Release 2.0) in 1988, updating some of the obsolete technology.
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Old 01-24-2020, 03:58 PM
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In H. Rider Haggard's King Solomon's Mines, there is a subplot involving a solar eclipse. Someone pointed out that there had not been, and was not going to be, any solar eclipse visible in southern Africa for many years before or after the time the story was set. So Haggard re-wrote it, changing the scene from day to night, and using a lunar eclipse. If you decide to read it, make sure you get an edition that has both versions. My copy has the original version in the main text, with the revisions in footnotes.
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Old 01-24-2020, 04:00 PM
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Really? I admit I've only watched the movie, but never heard about the book being changed...

EDIT: Was referring to Clockwork Orange, should've quoted, sorry...
When the book was first published in the US (until 1986), the last (21st) chapter where Alex repents and gives up his old life was omitted. Kubrik based his film off of the American version, and he and others (including the original American editor) feel that the final chapter isn't believable and doesn't fit with the other 20 chapters.
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Old 01-24-2020, 04:14 PM
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For some science fiction:
Ringworld by Larry Niven originally had a character teleporting east around the world to extend his birthday, which is actually backwards. Later editions corrected this.

The Lensman series be EE Doc Smith was originally published as a series of episodes in SF magazines, then later that was edited into novels. The story Triplanetary was originally independent, then was edited to be part of the Lensman series, then some of the chronology of the main series was changed so that they all fit better.
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Old 01-24-2020, 05:25 PM
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No mention of Great Expectations yet? Sigh.
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Old 01-24-2020, 05:32 PM
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No mention of Great Expectations yet? Sigh.
Beat me by five minutes because I was looking for the cite. Sigh.
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Old 01-24-2020, 06:17 PM
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James Joyce is probably still making corrections and emendations to his books. I'm positive he wouldn't let the mere fact that he's dead stop him.
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Old 01-24-2020, 07:33 PM
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John Fowles' The Magus was , published in 1965, after he'd spent twelve years on it. Not satisfied with it, he continued working on it, and issued a much revised version in 1977.


Arthur C. Clarke's The City and the Stars (1956) is a reworking of his Against the Fall of Night (1951, 1953).


Mark Twain's novel The Mysterious Stranger was never really finished to his satisfaction. It exists in three versions. The version you've probably read was cobbled together from two of those existing version, but not by Twain. They finally published all three of them in a single volume several years ago. So no "Director's Cut" edition exists.

Similarly, three volumes claiming to be "Mark Twain's Autobiography" were published in the hundred years after his death, but none of them really is. They were cobbled together from excerpts from his real autobiography. The TRUE Autobiography of Mark Twain was published in three volumes, beginning in 2010, the centennial of his death (as he'd intended). That is arguably the "Director's Cut", although Twain himself didn't edit it, obviously.
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Old 01-24-2020, 07:39 PM
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For some science fiction:
Ringworld by Larry Niven originally had a character teleporting east around the world to extend his birthday, which is actually backwards. Later editions corrected this.
Yes, but this was just revising some geography. It wasn't a Director's Cut type thing because Niven didn't do anything that a decent copy editor would have done.
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Old 01-24-2020, 07:42 PM
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Missed the edit window:

Director's Cut is more like Larry and Jerry publishing big hunks of The Mote in God's Eye as separate short novellas rather than include them in the book.
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Old 01-24-2020, 07:44 PM
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Other Heinlein works were updated - most dramatically "If This Goes On" which has a rather different ending in the original version: the revolution was concluded with
SPOILER:
mass hypnosis
- a method that in the revised version the revolutionaries emphatically decide against.

Charles Sheffield kept reworking his books - "The Nimrod Hunt" was reworked into "The Mind Pool," "Tomorrow and Tomorrow" was a revised and expanded version of "At the Eschaton" and the Heritage Universe novels had substantial revisions in the later edition.

David Gerrold updated "When HARLIE was One" as "When Harlie was One, 2.0" to account for changes in computer technology - he also substantially altered "A Matter for Men" (added a chapter or so) in later editions.
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Old 01-24-2020, 07:52 PM
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If I recall (and I'm not 100% sure) Stephen King's The Stand had a second publication that was significantly expanded and more detailed because by that point he had more clout and doorstopper books were more acceptable to the buying public.
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Old 01-24-2020, 08:54 PM
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The publisher of John Barth's The Floating Opera insisted on his changing the ending. Barth complied and it was published in 1956. In 1967, Barth revised it, putting back his original ending and making various changes throughout.

Last edited by RealityChuck; 01-24-2020 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 01-24-2020, 09:23 PM
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Piers Anthony wrote and sold a novel, But What of Earth?, in 1976. The editor had the book extensively revised by Robert Coulson, to the point where Anthony and Coulson were listed as co-authors. Anthony won back the publication rights in a lawsuit and published his original version in 1989.
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Old 01-24-2020, 09:40 PM
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Much of Henry James.
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Old 01-24-2020, 10:47 PM
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Stephen King released an an unabridged edition of The Stand in 1990, billed as "The Complete and Uncut Edition".
He also put out a revised edition of The Gunslinger in 2004, which added a few things and fixed some continuity errors but didn't significantly lengthen the book.
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Old 01-24-2020, 11:02 PM
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Oh, just remembered another one: Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land was first published in a highly condensed version, but then once he had enough clout, he went back and re-published it in its original, longer form.
Not exactly; the longer form was published posthumously, and is inferior according to Heinlein himself:
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Old 01-25-2020, 02:22 AM
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Neil Gaiman has published "author's preferred text" editions of Neverwhere and American Gods. In the introduction to American Gods, he states the new one is 12,000 words longer.

Mary Shelley revised Frankenstein 13 years after the original publication. For starters, her name was on the 1831 edition. The original 1818 version was published anonymously. Biggest change seemed to me to be in the original version Victor Frankenstein causes his own downfall through bad decisions and hubris, whereas in 1831, he's a victim of fate and destiny. And fiancee Elizabeth's backstory changes so she and Victor are no longer cousins.

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Old 01-25-2020, 07:07 AM
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David Weber revised and expanded Path of the Fury into In Fury Born.
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Old 01-25-2020, 07:56 AM
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Terry Pratchett re-released his very first novel The Carpet People, which he had originally written when he was a teenager, in a revised edition more in keeping with his modern sensibilities and skill level.
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Old 01-25-2020, 09:10 AM
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No mention of Great Expectations yet? Sigh.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Clark View Post
Beat me by five minutes because I was looking for the cite. Sigh.
Does that fit the OP though? The way I'm reading it, Dickens changed the ending before publication.
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Old 01-25-2020, 09:34 AM
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Raymond Feist's Magician got an extended 'Author's Preferred Version' ten years after first being published.

The Princess Bride now includes text at the end that was originally only available if you wrote in to request it, and then later available on a website, but it probably doesn't count. Always take the opportunity to mention tPB though.
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Old 01-25-2020, 09:49 AM
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Warning: Spoilers in link.

Yet another Heinlein revision: Podkayne of Mars was published with one ending, despite protests by Heinlein. It's been republished later with both endings.
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Old 01-25-2020, 09:51 AM
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Richard Wright's Native Son had to be cleaned up for the book club edition, throwing out such lovely scenes as Bigger Thomas and his friends masturbating in the movie theatre.
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Old 01-25-2020, 12:47 PM
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Warning: Spoilers in link.

Yet another Heinlein revision: Podkayne of Mars was published with one ending, despite protests by Heinlein. It's been republished later with both endings.
Further Heinlein fun.

The Virginia Editions of Heinlein's works are supposed to be definitive. Fine, I've got them and I'm on board.

But some of them use original text prior to some editing, either for their pulp releases or before publication as books. It's trainwrecked me a few times as I'll be rereading something and go BAM into text I don't recognize.

Usually, it's small things. But in Red Planet there's about a page or so of extra discussion about gun rights and responsibilities in an early scene.
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Old 01-25-2020, 01:15 PM
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Does that fit the OP though? The way I'm reading it, Dickens changed the ending before publication.
The edition we used in high school had the "fixed" version and then the original ending. So versions of this ilk would fit, I think.

It's not all that different from Terry Gilliam's Brazil having the "happy" ending in the original theatrical release and then the one with his ending coming out later.
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Old 01-25-2020, 03:26 PM
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Madeleine L'Engle's publishers ordered her to "sanitize" And Both Were Young , one of her early novels. I put sanitize in quotes because what she put back in was still pretty tame for the early 1980s, when it was restored. Still, she was told that the main character and her guy friend couldn't kiss, her widowed father couldn't court one of her teachers, and the day of her mother's death had to be New Year's Day two years prior, instead of "It will be a year tomorrow." Although when the updated version was published, it also lacked mentions of clothing coupons and other post-WWII-Europe references. I would rather they had been left in with footnotes.

And speaking of that kind of re-editing, some of Judy Blume's books have been re-released with records changed to CDs and the like. Which confirms what I've thought for a long time: Blume was not writing fiction so much as she was writing educational stories that happened to be entertaining.
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Old 01-25-2020, 04:45 PM
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Tolkien went back and changed a couple of details in The Hobbit, to make it more consistent with The Lord of the Rings. The justification was that the previous account was according to Bilbo, and he whitewashed a couple of points in his favor, but that "new evidence" had uncovered "the truth".
The publication of these changes was largely due to a misunderstanding between Tolkien and his publisher. In 1947 while he was working on LOTR, he sent a batch of corrections to the first edition of The Hobbit (typographical errors and such), intended for incorporation into the second edition. He also sent what he called a "specimen of rewriting (for your amusement)" of a large part of the Riddles in the Dark chapter, intended to remove the motif in the original story that Gollum actually intended to freely give Bilbo his Ring, which he was finding difficult to reconcile with the nature of the Ring as it was developing in LOTR. He did not intend Allen & Unwin to publish the "rewriting" but merely wanted their opinion on it, and if they liked the changes he might work further on it. Without understanding that the small corrections and the "specimen rewriting" were entirely different things, and without communicating with him, they went ahead and published all his changes in the second edition. Although initially surprised, Tolkien decided to accept the changes and took the second edition text as canon for the background of LOTR.

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Old 01-25-2020, 06:05 PM
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And speaking of that kind of re-editing, some of Judy Blume's books have been re-released with records changed to CDs and the like.
I believe that Enid Blyton's books have been similarly updated, although for different reasons.
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Old 01-25-2020, 07:03 PM
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I wanted to add that Tolkien's creation of the idea that the First Edition story was a lie told by Bilbo was absolutely brilliant, and a good example of how he could take two seemingly contradictory statements and add a new statement that doesn't contradict, but resolves the two stories. Another example is his creation of Thrain the Old to resolve the inconsistency between the Hobbit narrative and the Hobbit map's inscription "Here of old was Thrain King under the Mountain".

The First Edition story presented the Ring as too benign and was missing any trace of the malignant influence it has on its possessors. So he adds the unreliable narrator motif, and now the same First Edition story is strong evidence of the Ring's malignant influence on the usually honest Bilbo.
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Old 01-25-2020, 07:48 PM
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Stephen King's The Gunslinger was revised and expanded.
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Old 01-25-2020, 08:36 PM
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Patricia C. Wrede's Talking to Dragons from her Enchanted Forest Chronicles series was the first written as a standalone, but is chronologically the last. Wrede published a re-written edition with alterations to made it fit in properly with the lore, style and characterizations of the other books.
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Old 01-26-2020, 01:11 AM
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It's not all that different from Terry Gilliam's Brazil having the "happy" ending in the original theatrical release and then the one with his ending coming out later.
Nitpick: Gilliam forced Universal to release his version by screening his cut for critics prior to the release. After the Los Angeles Film Critics Association awarded his version Best Picture of 1985, Universal caved and released Gilliam's approved 132 minute version (although not the original 142 minute cut that was released in Europe). But when Universal sold the film to television, it was the "happy ending" version. I believe the Criterion Collection editions contain both cuts (Original 142 minute international version and 94 minute TV version)

Last edited by ChockFullOfHeadyGoodness; 01-26-2020 at 01:12 AM. Reason: Clarifying
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Old 01-26-2020, 03:07 AM
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I believe that Enid Blyton's books have been similarly updated, although for different reasons.
What reasons? (I never read her stuff.)
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Old 01-26-2020, 04:31 AM
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What reasons? (I never read her stuff.)
I suppose it's actually the same reasons - to make them more relevant to modern readers. There's none of Judy Blume's education-through-story in Blyton though.

This suggests that the rewrites were a failure, and they went back to publishing the originals again!
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Old 01-26-2020, 11:53 AM
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No mention of Great Expectations yet? Sigh.
So you might say you had some great expectations it would be mentioned in this thread? I'll show myself out.

There was a Star Trek novel called Probe (about the Whale probe from Star Trek IV) that had been substantially rewritten by someone else prior to publishing to the point where the author on the cover disavowed the book. I am 90% sure they eventually did publish the original version (possibly as an online extra, I don't remember).
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Old 01-26-2020, 05:46 PM
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The complete 650+ page Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been printed. I bought a copy at the Mark Twain museum.

AP Article here
  #48  
Old 01-26-2020, 05:53 PM
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David Gerrold released When Harlie Was One in 1972, then When Harlie Was One (Release 2.0) in 1988, updating some of the obsolete technology.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy L View Post
David Gerrold updated "When HARLIE was One" as "When Harlie was One, 2.0" to account for changes in computer technology - he also substantially altered "A Matter for Men" (added a chapter or so) in later editions.
He's also annoyingly done this to The Man Who Folded Himself multiple times. The original is one of my favorite time travel stories. The revisions not so much.
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Old 01-26-2020, 07:30 PM
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I believe in the first edition of the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling, she messed up the climactic moment where ghosts came shooting out of the wands of Voldemort and Harry when they fight.

It was supposed to have people most recently killed by Voldemort come flying out in reverse order of their deaths, but the ghosts/spirits came out in the wrong order. James came out before Lilly, which is actually not quite right.

It was noticed by readers and she corrected the error. In the fixed version, Lilly comes out first and tells Harry that James is coming. (I think that is right, anyway).

Rowling credited the error to writer's fatigue.
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Old 01-26-2020, 07:52 PM
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If I recall (and I'm not 100% sure) Stephen King's The Stand had a second publication that was significantly expanded and more detailed because by that point he had more clout and doorstopper books were more acceptable to the buying public.
See post 3.

Quote:
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Stephen King's The Gunslinger was revised and expanded.
See post 26.

He also put out a revised and expanded edition of 'Salem's Lot that was illustrated (lots of dark B&W photographs) and had a bit more on the townsfolk, Hubie Marsten and Fr. Callahan, IIRC.
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