Greg Cox wrote:
It's like when STAR TREK does the trick of invoking "Galileo, Einstein, and Curcovissox." You're not actually missing anything if you don't know who "Curcovissox" is. You just go along with it . . ..
And then there's my favorite example, "The Cage." The very first Trek story ever written, impossible for anyone to refer to any prior works set in the universe, yet it's still heavily built around references to past events like the recent battle on Rigel VII and the death of Pike's yeoman. Every story references things beyond itself, but that doesn't make the story incomprehensible by itself.