- Canon (fiction)
In the context of a work of fiction, the term canon denotes the material accepted as "official" in a fictional universe's fan base. It is often contrasted with, or used as the basis for, works of fan fiction, which are not considered canonical. It is used in two slightly different meanings: first, "it refers to the overall set of storylines, premises, settings, and characters offered by the source media text".:28 In this sense, canon is "the original work from which the fan fiction author borrows," or "the original media on which the fan fictions are based." Secondly, it is used "as a descriptor of specific incidents, relationships, or story arcs that take place within the overall canon"; thus certain incidents or relationships may be described as being canon or not.:32 The alternative term mythology is often used, especially to refer either to a richly detailed fictional canon requiring a large degree of suspension of disbelief (e.g. an entire imaginary world and history), or to a central thread of storytelling running through a broad fictional canon that may episodically wander into many side plots with little connection to that thread.
The use of the word "canon" in reference to a set of texts derives from Biblical canon, the set of books regarded as scripture. The term was first used in the context of fiction to refer to the Sherlock Holmes stories and novels, written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, to distinguish those works from subsequent pastiches by other authors. It has subsequently been applied to many media franchises. Among these are science fiction franchises such as Star Trek, Star Wars, Halo, "Mass Effect" and Doctor Who, in which many stories have been told in different media, some of which contradict or appear to contradict each other.
Fan fiction is almost never regarded as canonical. However, certain ideas may become influential or widely accepted within fan communities, who refer to such ideas as "fanon", a portmanteau of fan and canon. The term may also be used to refer to fan fiction in general.
- Alternative universe (fan fiction)
- Continuity (fiction)
- Expanded Universe
- Fictional universe
- Parallel universe (fiction)
- ^ a b Juli J. Parrish (2007), Inventing a Universe: Reading and writing Internet fan fiction.
- ^ Meredith McCardle, Fan Fiction, Fandom, and Fanfare: What's All the Fuss, p.3
- ^ Rebecca Black, Digital Design: English Language Learners and Reader Reviews in Online Fiction, in A New Literacies Sampler, p. 126
- ^ McDonald, Lee Martin (2007). The Biblical Canon: Its Origin, Transmission and Authority (Updated and revised 3rd ed.). Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers. p. 38. ISBN 978-1-56563-925-6. http://books.google.com/books?id=r9FUWj_w9-YC&lpg=PP1&dq=Biblical%20canon&pg=PA38#v=onepage&q&f=false. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
- ^ Peter Haining, "Introduction" in Doyle, Arthur Conan (1993). The Final Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. New York: Barnes & Noble Books. ISBN 156619198X. Edited by Peter Haining.
- ^ a b c Baker, Chris (18 August 2008). "Meet Leland Chee, the Star Wars Franchise Continuity Cop". Wired. http://www.wired.com/entertainment/hollywood/magazine/16-09/ff_starwarscanon?currentPage=all. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
- ^ Parrish, p. 33:
'fanon.' Within an individual fandom, certain plotlines may be reinvented so many times and by so many people—or alternately may be written so persuasively by a few writers—that they take on the status of fan-produced canon.
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