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Old April 26 2009, 09:58 PM   #8
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Re: *~Star Trek Books FAQ Latest Edition~*

Questions To Never Ask

Q. Which Star Trek books are canon? What's the difference between the terms: canon/continuity/official?
A. Short answer: none. Long answer: read Steve Roby's "Every Fan's Canon Primer," which will not only answer your question in detail, but humorously ridicule you for asking it.

As for the second part. Star Trek “canon” is what was aired- either during the Star Trek television series, or in the movies. In fact, even deleted scenes that show up in DVD extras are not canon. So no Trek books (since they were never on screen) are canon. However, over the last several years, the Trek editors and writers have tried to make sure the books (except for the Shatnerverse) have the same “continuity.” Or- they try to follow up on, and do not contradict each other.

Bear in mind, these “rules” are not a set in stone policy- sometimes conflicts due occur. For instance, readers may notice that aspects of the Crucible trilogy don't match the continuity of other Star Trek works.

I've pillaged the of the terms canon, continuity and official from Lighting Storm to make the distinctions clear:

Canon: The source material created by the creator/owner of the property. In this case that is all live action TV and movies because those are the only things created by CBS/Paramount. Those aren't even necessarily in continuity with each other.

Continuity: Any material that does not contradict the events of other material. So even Fan Fiction can be continuous with screen Trek and thus apart of continuity.

Official: Any material that is approved and sanctioned by and the owner of the property. So in this case that would include the published novels, magazines, comics, toys and even Christmas ornaments, but not fan-fiction. Published Star Trek novels are officially licensed fictions that have to be approved and vetted by CBS/Paramount.

In conclusion not all TV episodes are necessarily in the same continuity, but all are canon and official. Not all novels are in the same continuity, none are canon, but all are official. No fan fiction is canon nor official, but some can indeed be in the same continuity.

Q. Why is this month's book late?
A. The books come out during a rough four-week period and have no set street date, unlike the higher profile novels like Harry Potter and Star Wars. Hence, your only assurance is that mass market paperbacks will be out by the middle of the publication month, and other books (trade paperback/hardcover) by the end of it, since they are on a different production schedule thingy.

Q. I have this extraordinary idea I want one of the writers to use in their next novel! Can I talk about the plot of my fan fiction/ story idea here? Would one of the writers here take a look at my story?
A. The rule of the Trek Lit forum is that story ideas are not allowed- no ideas, plots, fan fiction, whole stories etc. The reason for this is that there are many authors who post here about published work. To prevent any possible legal difficulties from arising, editors and writers avoid reading fan-written stories. To assist them in avoiding content that could be related in any way to their official work, we ask that it isn't posted here. Please don't say “I won't sue, I'd just be happy if someone used my...” because it's entirely possible someone has already come up with the idea, so for it to appear in a published work would still be awkward at best.
There is a fan fiction part to TrekBBS where you can post fan fiction (the published writers and editors avoid it) and have some avid readers critique it for you.

Q. Why are there gay people in the books?
A. Because there are gay people in real life. Imagine that.
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