The novelization of TRON was written by Brian Daley, based on an early version of the screenplay by Steven Lisberger. It was first published by Ballantine Books in 1982. The novel runs to 173 pages, and has a front cover illustrating titular character, Tron, against a black background, with the TRON logo superimposed on top. It also has an insert consisting of 8 pages of colour photographs from the film.
The novelization is a retelling of the 1982 TRON movie, and contains 17 chapters.
Since it was based on an earlier version of the screenplay, it includes several scenes which were omitted from the movie, such as Sark's jai alai match against a hapless conscript and the much-referenced deleted love scene between Tron and Yori. There are also outright differences, such as Ram's light cycle being green instead of red and the Bit's ability to say "yes" or "no" in numerous different languages. The book also delves further than the movie into the basic nature of the computer world and the beings living in it:
- "[Flynn] leaned against the door, looking down at his hands. They glowed and pulsed. He was willing to bet that he was no longer seeing in the 3700-to-7000-angstrom range, and wasn't particularly eager to think about the rest of his bodily functions. [...] He forced himself to confront the things he'd heard and seen and felt, without self-deception. If reality was the product of mind -- if awareness shaped existence -- then, might not other intelligences fashion other worlds? Reality's a matter of opinion, Flynn's mind pounded at him. We're all wave fronts on this bus."
The back cover blurb reads as follows:
"AN ELECTRONIC WONDERWORLD COME TO LIFE....
Flynn's efforts are in vain. The Master Control Program shoots him into an incredible electronic world, where computer programs are the alter-egos of their programmers, where video games are battles of life and death.
It is here that Flynn finds Tron, the alter-ego of Alan Bradley and the only program who can overthrow the Master Control. The video wizard and the electronic program join forces in a battle to decide whether man or machine will control the system.
This electrifying novel shows the world of computer gaming from the inside - where real people become electronic pawns in a world they do not understand."