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Factual errors in the review of literature could probably be avoided if there wasn't so much pesky reading involved.

  • Daniel Handler's A Series of Unfortunate Events: A website identified goth-girl fashion icons Emily the Strange and Ruby Gloom as characters; and numerous pages — including at least one on this very wiki — call Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography something like "The Unofficial Biography". A preview of The Beatrice Letters claimed that the punch-out letters in the book spelled out the "real" title of the thirteenth book ... Nope. Similarly, every preview of The Beatrice Letters claimed that the punch-out letters would spell out two different secret messages, but if there is a second one, it's nothing more than a Red Herring.
  • Some paperback editions of Robert A. Heinlein's Time Enough for Love indicate that Lazarus Long goes back in time to become his own ancestor. While he does sleep with his mother, this occurs after his birth, when he is a young child. Incestuous, true, but not paradoxical.
    • The synopsis writer was probably thinking of a different Heinlein story, —All You Zombies—, in which the protagonist not only becomes one of his/her ancestors, s/he becomes all of them.
    • The same thing happened in the slipcover for the hardback edition of To Sail Beyond the Sunset, followed by the statement that Maureen was not only Lazarus's mother and wife, but his daughter.
  • The book Futurespeak: A Fan's Guide to the Language of SF contains numerous examples where the author failed to do the research. One of the most notable (if only for SF critic John Clute's alleged claim it had "more mistakes than words") defines "Slan" as superhumans from a series beginning with Galactic Lensman, a 1925 novel by A.E. Van Vogt. (There was never a book called Galactic Lensman; the Lensman series started in 1937, with Galactic Patrol; the Slans aren't even from the Lensman series; A. E. van Vogt's name has a lowercase "v" on the "van"; van Vogt didn't write the Lensman series, E. E. “Doc” Smith did; the book in which van Vogt created the Slans was called Slan, and was published in 1948; and the entry is phrased as though "Slan" were the plural, which it isn't).
  • A popular history book described Conan the Barbarian as being the work of J. R. R. Tolkien., although Tolkien once mentioned he 'rather liked' the Conan stories.
    • The Writer's Almanac daily email celebrated J. R. R. Tolkien's birthday in 2006 with a lengthy and loving tribute ... in which they said that The Lord of the Rings was "the story of Bilbo Baggins, a lowly hobbit who sets out on a quest to destroy a magic ring." As one commenter on Miss Snark put it, "For Bilbo, it was a short quest." (In fact, Tolkien at one point considered making Bilbo the protagonist of The Lord of the Rings, but it would have contradicted too strongly the ending of The Hobbit, which said that Bilbo lived Happily Ever After.)
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    • A deliberately poorly-written synopsis from the Tolkien Sarcasm Page was used as a source by the London Times.
  • Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman were interviewed for the book Good Omens by a New York radio presenter who hadn't quite figured out that the book was fictional. The interviewer hadn't read the book, and was probably just given some cards with notes on them by an assistant. The presenter thought it was a book about the nice and accurate prophecies of Agnes Nutter. (Which it is, but she never existed.) Sort of as if Gaiman and Pratchett had written a book about Nostradamus.
  • The Metro, when doing a piece on the town of Wincanton, home of the Discworld Emporium, who had gotten two new roads named Peach Pie Street and Treacle Mine Road, offered a "comprehensive guide to the diskworld". Yes, with a "k". It then went on to compare Ankh-Morpork to London, listing the disc's newspaper as "The Truth Newspaper". Because that was the title of the book in which the Ankh-Morpork Times was introduced, and somebody couldn't even be bothered to read the freaking blurb.
    • If you read the blurb to the first American edition of Lords and Ladies, you'd be confronted with the question "Who in this world, or any other, would write a novel about a football team that falls victim to a pack of wily elves?" Now, it's understandable that Americans might not "get" Morris dancing, but...
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    • Marvel at the Worcestershire Library Service's summary of Hogfather: "The Hogswatchnight yuletide season is disrupted by the evil deeds of the Auditors, who replace the red-suited Hogfather with a scythe-bearing demon, prompting the Unseen University wizards and their monster-bashing nanny to launch a rescue plan." Parts of it are partly correct; the most notable error is that the sycthe-bearing replacement is not a demon and is also trying to save Hogswatch from the Auditors. Also, while Susan is a nanny (well, technically a governess) and working with the wizards, she's not "their" nanny, although she'd probably be the first to say they need one. What's baffling about this is that the mistakes look like ones made by someone who only read the cover blurb - but they get things right that aren't in the blurb (it doesn't mention the Auditors, for example).
  • To continue with Terry Pratchett, several news people have reported on the similarity between the Discworld series and the Harry Potter series based on the preseunce of a wizarding school (Unseen University, which is clearly a college parody and not a magical boarding school like Hogwarts) and the presence of the Christmas-like holiday Hogswatch, which sounds a bit like Hogwarts. Pratchett's responses to these claims have been polite, well-thought out versions of "What? No."
    • He's also been accused of ripping off Harry Potter because Ponder Stibbons looks like him in illustrations (he was first illustrated in the Discworld Portfolio, which was released in 1996). This brought this response from Terry:
      "Ponder Stibbons was indeed first drawn in 1996. I, of course, used a time machine to 'get the idea' of Unseen University from Hogwarts; I don't know what Paul used in this case. Obviously he must have used something."
      • There is also the fact that The Colour of Magic was written about a decade before the first Harry Potter book was released.
      • Also, Hogwarts: 1997. Hogfather: 1996. And the kicker: Hogmanay: a Scottish year-end celebration. The earliest written reference to Hogmanay is from 1604.
      • And, indeed, "THE HOGWARTS by MARCUS PLAUTUS MOLESWORTHUS" in How To Be Topp by Geoffrey Willans (1954)
  • Similarly, Diane Duane's Young Wizards series has been accused of ripping off Harry Potter by people who don't realize that Diane was writing them twenty years before JK Rowling first put pen to paper.
  • Speaking of Harry Potter: Many websites professing that Harry Potter teaches witchcraft have cited the line from the first book, "There is no good and evil; there is only power and those too weak to seek it," as "proof". This takes the line completely out of context, as it was said by the villain of the book. A Christian media-review site cites that line among the many reasons to avoid the films — not ignoring the fact that a villain said it, but saying it doesn't matter who said it.
    • The most ironic part? Rowling herself has said that she is an Anglican/Protestant Christian who believes in God.
    • Other Christian alarmists have cited an interview where JK Rowling proclaims her allegiance to Satan as proof of the series' evil. The source of this damning testimony? The Onion.
      • Someone sent Reader's Digest an angry letter after they had JK Rowling on the cover. They then sent another one that complained about their first letter being truncated when published, in which they revealed their source for their outrage was The Onion. Reader's Digest did the print equivalent of patting them on the head and saying, "There, there..."
    • Jack Chick, as you might expect, read none of the books. According to him, they contain actual instructions for practicing witchcraft and selling your soul to the devil. This is par for the course for Chick Tracts.
    • Prior to the release of the first film, Warner Bros. produced several board games based on the series, including a trivia game written by people who clearly had only read the first book as well as just the title of the second one. Consequently, they apparently decided that the "Chamber of Secrets" referred to the chambers Harry, Ron and Hermione passed through in order to get the stone. Uh... no.
    • A series of articles published by a major newspaper prior to the release of the fourth book announced "sensational changes" at Hogwarts, such as the arrival of the new Potions professor, a certain Lucius Malfoy. While Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers have changed hands annually for decades (none of whom were Malfoy either), no new Potions professor appeared until book six (and he was technically an old professor returning).
    • A Swiss teenage magazine published an article right before the release of DH, claiming that the next book will contain "the first Harry Potter sex scene ever". They also published a list of possible endings for the book, including "Dumbledore isn't dead, he hid in the lake after Snape killed him," (er... what about the body?) and "Ron turns evil and slips poison into Harry's pumpkin juice". After DH was actually released, they claimed that "Ginny gives Harry her virginity as a birthday gift."note  They also published a Draco/Harry manip and seemed to believe that Daniel Radcliffe and Tom Felton came out of the closet and were in a relationship.
    • If you speak German, the (infamous) German gag dubber Coldmiror has a field day with this trope and makes TWO videos collecting mistakes in German magazines. Harry's owl Hermine (the German name for Hermione) indeed...
      • Or the many ways Voldemort can be misspelled.
    • Also for the Potter books, there's this pathetic excuse for a reader's guide. It's full of mistakes that even a ten-year-old would recognize, ranging from the spelling of Hagrid's name to the plot of the second and third books, which the author seems to think are the same.
    • An article quoted a section of Half-Blood Prince, which gave us a description of the Half Blood Prince (which would have been rather amusing, had they actually done that). Instead, the description was of Scrimgeour, the new Minister of Magic.
    • (Inappropriately) in an article about a poisoning with aconite: "Aconite, or wolfsbane, was supposedly used by witches in the Middle Ages to kill their enemies. It features in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince when Professor Snape uses it to stop Remus Lupin turning into a werewolf." Or... not. Thanks, Daily Mail. Well, he uses a potion called the Wolfsbane Potion (in Prisoner of Azkaban) to render Lupin a more docile werewolf. At least they got the wolfsbane part right.
    • In Bennett the Sage's Dramatic Reading of My Immortal, he mistook "Hogsmeade" for a misspelling of "Hogwarts". Apparently, someone in the comments pointed this out and he paid attention, because in subsequent videos he started Lampshading his lack of knowledge about Harry Potter, stating at one point that "Professor Slutborn" could be a real Potter character for all he knew.
    • The guys over at Exposing Satanism. According to them, Voldemort is God (wait, they claim to be Christians, yet they seriously think God Is Evil?), Harry is the Antichrist, Voldemort raped Ginny...
    • In general, a Running Gag among the casual fans and press is to point out that Harry has "saved the school X times" everytime someone doubts or mistrusts Harry, X being the number of previous books. To say that Harry makes a habit of "saving the school" is extremely inaccurate; while he certifiably did so in the second book, none of the other books feature him doing any such thing. Plus, all of his heroics involve excessive rule-breaking and have few witnesses; acting as if Harry should be treated like a hero who saves the school and that mistrust of him is dictated by Rule of Drama is a solid example of this trope.
    • In a similar vein to the above, the running joke that "the new teacher is always evil". While this is mostly accurate, to the point that the sixth such teacher, Horace Slughorn, was a refreshing subversion, it unfairly leaves out the third "new teacher", Remus Lupin, one of the series' most prominent heroic characters. For another, Lockhart was a coward, egomaniac, fraud, and idiot but not a villain.
    • The Nostalgia Critic once referred to "Harry Potter Ring Wraith rip-offs". Dementors and Ring Wraiths share nothing beyond a superficial appearance; while both wear black cloaks, Dementors can fly, feed on happy memories, steal souls and spawn in dark, hopeless places, whereas the Ring Wraiths are nine corrupted humans drawn to the One Ring's power.
  • Dave Barry points this out brilliantly in his book Dave Barry's History of the Millennium (So Far) with the page quote and this one as well:
    We see this all the time. Journalists, rushing to get a story out under deadline pressure, will report, based on preliminary information, that a ship sank, and 127 people, many of them elderly, perished. Then, upon further investigation, it turns out that nobody, in fact, perished, although one elderly person was slightly injured by a set of dentures hurled by another elderly person in an effort to get the first elderly person to stop talking so loud. Then it turns out that this happened at a nursing home, as opposed to a ship, although the elderly people were watching a video of Titanic at the time, and although there were only four of them, as opposed to 127, the nursing home is located on Route 124, which is only three less than 127, which is not that much of an error when you consider the deadline pressure that journalists operate under.
  • A review was circulated on several sites of the Mortal Instruments trilogy by Cassandra Cla(i)re, formerly a Big Name Fan in the Harry Potter fandom. It claimed that she took the title of her books from a Harry/Draco Fan Fic she had once written, and quoted a few paragraphs. In fact they came from another of her stories, and the fanfic originally titled Mortal Instruments was a tale of Brother–Sister Incest between Ron and Ginny.
    • However, she had committed plagiarism in her fanfics previously, so this person had obviously done some research — making the errors all the odder.
  • A Game Informer preview of the then-upcoming Genji for Playstation 2 described it as based on The Tale of Genji. Given that said work was a romance, it would have led to a very different game than the actual result... which was based on The Tale Of The Heike.
  • There are an awful lot of inaccuracies inside and outside of news media referring to the original novel of Dracula, ranging from claiming that the Count can be destroyed by sunlight to references to him being destroyed via stake through the heart. Clearly, most people have just seen one of the movies and called it good.
  • Parodied in the Teenage Worrier series when Letty gives advice to the reader on books: "If discussing a book you haven't read, don't pretend you have. I droned on about the Rainbow Lorikeet when Hazel's dad mentioned The History of Mister Polly."
  • One reviewer, apparently too busy/lazy to read Magician by Raymond E. Feist summarised the book as something like "a typical fantasy novel where a boy saves the kingdom from an army of trolls". Mr Feist himself suspects he just looked at the cover of the book for his review since there are a total of 2 trolls in the book, and they don't even survive for a chapter.
    • The blurbs for the Riftwar series (at least in some editions) are so badly done that this is almost understandable. The worst is for A Darkness at Sethanon, which mentions "the evil necromancer Macros the Black unleashing his undead hordes". Macros the Black is a good guy, is not a necromancer, only a few of the enemy are undead, etc...
  • Dean Koontz wrote about a review of his novel Midnight thusly:

    “After MIDNIGHT became the first of my novels to reach number one on the national bestseller lists, a critic in a prominent publication wrote that I was an overnight success and had been sold with 'a massive and slick ad campaign' to a gullible public whose 'lips move as they read his tedious novels about vampires in modern dress.' MIDNIGHT isn’t a vampire novel. Vampires do not appear in any of my novels. I have never written about a vampire in either modern or antique dress, nor in pajamas, for that matter. The vague and yet error-riddled details in the review made it clear that this man had not even skim-read the book. I killed him.”

    Koontz had published his first novel, Star Quest, in 1968, and started hitting the bestseller lists in paperback in 1977, when his novel Demon Seed was rereleased simultaneously with the film version. His 1979 novel The Key To Midnight was his first best-seller without a movie tie-in, and Midnight was at least his fifty-seventh (57th) published novel, released twenty one years after his first (as Koontz also wrote under pen names in the 1970s, his pre-Midnight total may have been more than fifty-six).

    Otherwise, the reviewer was spot on.

  • One review of the 2009 Darren Shan movie said that it was a rip off of Twilight. Cirque Du Freak came out five years before Twilight. Screw that, the last book was out before Twilight! And anyway, the only thing they have in common is vampires.
    • Speaking of Twilight, ABC World News did a story about fans' excitement for the second movie New Moon. In it, while talking about the books and their popularity and impact, they showed the book covers. Which is all well and good... except for the fact that the covers were for the "House of Night" series and not the highly recognizable Twilight covers.
    • In a less egregious example, you have the incessant Burger King ads portaying the vicious combat between Team Edward and Team Jacob — the series is over, any idiot who's heard of the series, or fandoms in general, could tell you that that matter's been settled, regardless of unhappy fans' wishes.
    • L.J. Smith has come under fire lately because of the WB CW series The Vampire Diaries. The books the series was based on were written and published in 1991 and 1992. The series was brought about by the vampire craze, yes, but the story was well before Twilight was even a twinkle.
  • An Australian magazine claimed that Stieg Larsson was a neo-Nazi. This is especially puzzling since the man was a democratic socialist who received death threats from far-right and racist organisations for his work against them, and depicted the Nazi characters in his first book as having kidnapped, raped, and killed dozens of women, making one wonder whether the magazine's writers had any familiarity with him whatsoever.
  • Games Workshop subsiduary "The Black Library" are guilty of this on the blurbs of their own books. For example, the blurb of Redemption Corps refers to the main character as both 'Sergeant' and 'Captain' Mortensen. He's a Major.
  • Sebastian Faulks' book on British fictional characters makes a reference to the play Abigail's Party, citing "Abigail proposing to put the wine in the fridge" - but the "Abigail" of the play's title is a character who, like Godot, never actually appears onstage. The party hostess who puts wine in the fridge is called Beverly.
  • Andre Norton's Beastmaster series in general. Anyone who writes about it, but hasn't read it, assumes it's about a Nature Hero in a loincloth, which it's not.
  • The 1998 sf textbook Decades of Science Fiction says "Bradley's husband, Leigh Brackett, wrote The Darkover Concordance: A Reader's Guide (1979) to help sort out the complexities of the series." Leigh Brackett was a woman sf author who died in 1978. Bradley's husband and the author of the Concordance was Walter H. Breen.
  • Russell T. Davies once defended Disney's The Little Mermaid by saying "many more millions of children than have ever read the original Oscar Wilde story can come to know and love 'The Little Mermaid'." The Little Mermaid might have the same sort of feel as Wilde's children's stories, but it was by Hans Christian Andersen.
  • "Gabriel Ostman, 18 years old, is a highly-skilled hacker." (Translated) First sentence of the blurb of the german book Das Netz by Wolfgang Holhbein. The character's name is actually Gabriel Richter and he's in his forties. The rest isn't much better.
  • This article about the Warrior Cats graphic novels includes a picture of what they call the "first and second volumes of the SkyClan and the Stranger trilogy". They do have the second volume of that particular trilogy, but what do they have as the "first" one? Warrior's Refuge, the second volume in the Graystripe's Adventure trilogy, which came out four years and nine volumes earlier. You'd think that the "2" on the front of each would have tipped them off that it wasn't the first volume...
  • Contrary to the claims of Publishers Weekly, there are no satyrs in Nancy Springer's Apocalypse, although Eros could be considered a sort of gender-flipped nymph if you squint. And while Shirley Danyo, in in her role as Pestilence, develops skin lesions reminiscent of Kaposi's sarcoma, she's not actually HIV-positive.
  • The Stumbling Colossus by David Glantz starts with him criticizing the highly controversial Viktor Suvorov. First, Glantz gets his real name wrong. Then, he claims that Suvorov writes about the second Soviet echelon being composed of "black shirted NKVD formations" - a mix up of two different ideas about half a book apart (and the black referred to coats, not shirts). Then he states that despite Suvorov's claims, the tank units in this echelon were not combat ready (Suvorov makes no such claims, only stating it is highly unusual for certain armies there to have tanks at all). He also somehow manages to state that "it can be questioned how a man of Suvorov's low rank could have access to archive documents".note  Not surprisingly, the Russian footnotes give quite a few examples of him using badly outdated sources.
  • Many, many fans of the Lensman series do this in regard to the explosive "duodec". It is very common to see lists and discussions of Lensman tropes and technology insisting that duodec is a chemical explosive based on its handling properties - despite the books explicitly referring to it as "atomic", ie. "nuclear" in the language of the day.
  • Some reviewers of the first Flashman book took it for an actual memoir, perhaps because the author was an actual historian and added copious endnotes.
    • However, it must be noted that in addition to the endnotes, Flashman, the opening of the novel makes it clear that the title character is "Flashman, the school bully" from the rather well-known British novel Tom Browns School Days. So perhaps the reviewers in question just failed to pay attention.
  • This sort of thing can cause a BIG and obvious discrepancy between the content of a book and the illustration chosen for its cover. Either the illustrator hasn't been able to read the book, or the notes they are working from are inaccurate, or the content of the book has changed in between the original commission and the illustrator's getting to grips with the job. (Or possibly the publisher decided that a deliberately inaccurate cover would sell better, and made sure that's what the artist drew.)
    • The cover illustrations of the first few Discworld novels feature the Librarian as a chimpanzee. The character is, in fact, possibly the most celebrated orang-utan in literature. A character described as "four-eyed" is depicted literally, with four eyes: the illustrator did not grasp that this is a dysphemism for "wears nerdy glasses".
    • John Foley's war autobiography went through five reprints, four of which depicted M4 Sherman tanks on the cover. This despite Foley having commanded a squadron of Churchill tanks, a fact reiterated throughout the book and on the back-cover blurb. One outstandingly egregious version has Foley's Shermans attacking through a desert village in North Africa - despite the fact the book is explicitly about the period D-Day to Berlin, long after the North African war ended. The error was remedied only on the sixth reprint.
    • The cover of first Hebrew translation of The Hobbit shows Bilbo stabbing a dragon's tail (possibly Smaug, although there appears to a different dragon in the background). The illustrator later admitted he had not read the book, and simply assumed this must happen in the story. Then again, at least there aren't any emus...
  • The cover blurbs for Harry Turtledove's Supervolcano series consistently refer to protagonist Colin Ferguson as a retired police officer, when in fact not only is he an active police officer, a major story arc revolves around him tracking down a serial killer and dealing with the blowback when the killer turns out to be his department's chief. He does eventually retire due to injuries sustained in an unrelated shootout, but in the last 20 pages of the third book.
    • The cover images of Turtledove's books are infamous in the fandom for how consistently they fail to depict anything that is actually in the text. Wrong flags, uniforms and weapons are also very common.
  • The back-cover blurbs of British SF paperbacks sometimes bear little or no relation to the story they're supposed to be synopsising. One of the worst examples was the mid-1970s paperbacks of Isaac Asimov's I, Robot and The Rest of the Robots, which spoke of Asimov's so-called "terrifying" and "spine-chilling" visions; whoever was supposed to blurb those books clearly didn't even bother to read them, but merely saw the word "robot" and jumped to the conclusion that here was yet another thinly-disguised rewrite of Frankenstein (which was exactly the sort of story that Asimov's robot stories were a reaction against).
    • British SF paperbacks are not alone in this. The first paperback edition of Robert A. Heinlein's Podkayne of Mars had a back-cover makes it sound like a soft-core porn novel. About the only thing accurate in the blurb was the spelling of the heroine's name.
    • Similarly, there was a paperback edition of Olaf Stapledon's sf novel Odd John that made it look and sound like hard-core porn, complete with a cowering naked woman on the cover. In this case, the blurb writer's copy did at least have a thin basis in fact, as the novel contains some passing mentions of sexual activity, and the mentions are the basis of the blurb. But the blurb manages to make it sound like the novel is about sex and only sex.
  • In Britain in 2005, there briefly appeared a Swiss chocolate called Baci (similar to Ferrero Rochers, but predating them in Switzerland), the wrappers of which contained fortune-cookie-style slips with sayings or quotes on them. One such had the quote "Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be", which it attributed to George Sand. It's actually the first two lines of Rabbi Ben Ezra by Robert Browning.
  • In-universe example in The Silkworm: despite his new-found fame, most people still refer to Cormoran Strike by some variation on "Cameron Strick".
  • The US pre-publicity blurb for The Long Earth is a reasonably good description of "The High Meggas", the short story The Long Earth was based on ... and which it bears almost no resemblance to beyond the concept of the Long Earth itself and the presence of a character named Valiente. (And it even gets that wrong: both versions of Valiente have the first name Joshua; the blurb refers to "Steven Valiente".)
  • The back cover blurb for the second volume of Kingmaker, Kingbreaker, The Awakened Mage starts "Asher has come a long way for a fisherman's son. Together with his friend Prince Gar, he has defended their kingdom against its bitterest enemy, but at great cost." Actually, as the book starts, Asher and Gar are still wholly unaware that the kingdom's bitterest enemy didn't die hundreds of years ago. While they did put a spanner in his works at the end of The Innocent Mage, this was pure accident and they don't know that's what they did.
  • In A Landscape with Dragons, Michael D. O'Brien critiques various works, including literature and movies, directed at children, evaluating their consistency with conservative Christian values. In his critique of the works of Madeleine L'Engle, particularly the Time Quartet, he states that Beezie O'Keefe was ruined by the burdens of raising a large family, implying that L'Engle was against large families. Except she wasn't. Instead, what ruined Beezie was a series of Deus Angst Machina events. First, her father died, leaving the family in poverty. To escape their debt, her mother married someone who made sexual advances on thirteen-year-old Beezie, abused her little brother to the extent that he suffered brain damage before having him committed to an institution and causing his untimely death. All of this forced Beezie to marry a Jerkass of a guy (who came from a long line of shiftless drunks whose hobbies included flinging homeless puppies to death against barns) in order to escape her home life. In fact, in her Austin and O'Keefe novels, L'Engle celebrated large families; and people who looked down on large families and stay-at-home motherhood were accused of inverse sexism.
  • David Drake-related:
    • Early in Drake's career, some early Hammer's Slammers was reviewed unfavorably by a critic named Charles Platt who claimed that if Drake had ever seen war he wouldn't have written "such queasy voyeurism". Drake happens to have served in Vietnam as a US Army interrogator attached to the 11th Armored Cavalry, an experience that heavily influenced the Hammer's Slammers series. He retaliated with a Running Gag where a reprehensible character named Platt will appear in most works and die horribly.
    • With the Lightnings, the first RCN novel, has a review quotation from Publishers Weekly on its front cover reading, "This surely shouldn't—and probably won't—be Cassian and Adele's last adventure together." There is no such character as "Cassian" in the novel; it seems the reviewer read an early draft where Daniel Leary's name was Cassian Daniels and didn't proofread his review properly.
  • This happened a lot in the blurbs of the House of Stratus reprints of Rafael Sabatini 's novels. E.g.:
    • The Gates Of Doom: The blurb makes Pauncefort sound like an antiheroic protagonist, with Captain Gaynor as a mysterious friend he might not be able to trust. In fact, Gaynor is the hero, they haven't met before the story begins, and Pauncefort quickly turns out a villain.
    • The Sword Of Islam: The blurb makes Andrea Doria sound like the hero. He's a fairly minor character.
    • The Tavern Knight: After quoting an opening line which makes the hero sound pretty villainous, the blurb writer remarkably avoids this trap by basically saying nothing at all... but still manages to call him "the Tavern King", despite "Knight" being right there in both the title and the quote used at the beginning of the blurb. (They do also say that "remarkably for Sabatini" the book is based on English history. Although he did set a lot of novels in France and Italy, Sabatini wrote plenty about England as well, including some of his most famous works.)
  • The first three Torchwood spinoff novels were reviewed in SFX magazine by a reviewer who didn't seem to be much of a fan of the series and was inclined to give the book short shrift. In particular, he dismissed Border Princes by complaining there seemed to be no reason to add a new character to the team, and that he wasn't being treated as a newbie, which made the chronology impossible. Either the reviewer stopped reading halfway, or didn't really understand the end, where the new character was explained away with fake memories.
  • In January 2017, The Guardian was found to have included a blatantly fake quote "from Nineteen Eighty-Four" (actually taken from a joke tweet) in an article, despite the many signs something was amiss
    • The fake quote include suspiciously goofy and stilted writing for something heralded as a sophisticated litterary classic.
    • The follow-up tweet to the quoted statement includes even goofier writing and mentions Mr. Spacely and sprockets.
    • The fake quote has the protagonist converse with Big Brother, which never happens in the book. In fact, the book deliberately leaves it ambiguous as to wheter Big Brother is a real person or simply an invented symbol of the party.
    • The characters of 1984 never talk about something called "Tiny Train Town" at any point.
    • Ironically, The Guardian meant to make a statement about "fake news" and the "post-truth world" with the quote, but its writer and editor completely failed to do any cursory fact-checking in doing so. Even more ironically, they could have used the actual conversation between Winston and O'Brien for this purpose.
  • As of February 2017, there are 412 ratings (including at least one 1-star rating) of the fourth Cormoran Strike Novels book on GoodReads — despite the fact that absolutely nothing at all is known about this book (including its title, and when or even if it will be published), making all those "ratings" so much hot air.
  • The people profiled in Time Magazine's "Man/Woman/Person of the Year" issues have always been picked by their relevancy during a given year, not to promote the best leaders. Several news websites, particularly those with a right-wing conspiracy theory bias, were shocked (or perhaps, pretended to be shocked) to see that Time "endorsed" Adolf Hitler as its "Man of the Year" during the height of the Third Reich. Anyone who actually read the issue would have learned that the magazine was calling him off for being the sick bastard that he was, not praising him.
  • In A Companion to the American Novel, Bendixen describes criticism directed at Uncle Tom's Cabin's "racial stereotyping of its major African American characters, especially Tom and Little Eva". Eva is not black.
  • The book ADHD Nation: Children, Doctors, Big Pharma, and the Making of an American Epidemic cites George and Harold from Captain Underpants as examples of fictional characters with ADHD, but claims that they're sixth graders when they're actually fourth graders.
  • A British examination board was fined £175,000 after its English Literature GCSE exam in 2017 asked the following question about Romeo and Juliet: "How does Shakespeare present the ways in which Tybalt's hatred of the Capulets influences the outcome of the play?" For those unaware, Tybalt was a Capulet.
  • When the British comedian Barry Chuckle died, The Daily Mail printed a tribute from ‘children’s author Terry Pratchett’. Two problems:
    1. Only a very small proportion of Pratchett’s works are ‘children’s books’. (Most are young adult or adult, albeit enjoyed by children).
    2. He’s been dead for three years. The tribute came from his assistant, who still runs the @terryandrob Twitter feed.
  • Inside Report has a video about A Dog's Way Home called "Why 'A Dog's Purpose' Author Wrote New Book From Pit Bull's Perspective". The problem Bella is not a pit bull. She is mistaken for one by animal control officers, but it's repeatedly mentioned that she doesn't even look like a pit bull. She looks more like a Rottweiler or mastiff mix. Bella is only described as a pit bull because of the shelter's lax regulations on what counts as a 'pit bull', combined with an officer who just hates pit bulls and wants them all dead.