Greg Cox wrote:
I don't know. Seems I still hear these reactions fairly often:
"I don't bother with the books because they're not canon."
"Why can't the books be canon?"
And I'm pleased that now I have a good answer to the latter question. As we've seen with the Abramsverse comics and the early B5 novels among others, even when the effort is made to keep tie-ins consistent with canon, it doesn't really succeed, because the creators of the core work just can't maintain close control over tie-ins while they're simultaneously concentrating on the core work.
I also hear this conversation quite often:
Fan #1: But what about this inconsistency/plot hole in Episode #45?
Fan #2: That was explained in the novel The Enterprise Syndrome by Sherman Grant.
Fan #1: The books aren't canon, so that doesn't count.
Except that's actually true. All we tie-in authors can do is offer suggestions for how the plot hole might be resolved. There's nothing stopping the canon, or another tie-in author, from offering a different explanation.
Although it's not as if canons don't sometimes offer contradictory explanations themselves. Comic Book Resources has a regular column called "Abandoned an' Forsaked" that's all about the many times that a comic-book storyline has been retconned or reinterpreted or deliberately contradicted. One author reveals that Polaris is really Magneto's daughter, a later author reveals that it was a hoax and they aren't related, and a later author reveals that the hoax revelation was itself a hoax and she really is his daughter. One author says that Nick Fury is definitely dead and there's no chance it was just a Life Model Decoy that died, then a later author reveals that they were tricked by a more advanced model of LMD and Fury really is alive. So really, even canonical explanations aren't always carved in stone.