In the context of fiction, apocrypha includes stories and works set in a fictional universe that do not belong in its canon but may still have some authority within it. The boundaries between canon and apocrypha can often be blurry.
Apocrypha may include tie-in merchandise, such as video games, novels and comics, which is often referred to as the fictional universe's 'expanded universe'.
At times, apocryphal material may contradict the continuity that has already been established by canon. Even when no such contradictions occur, such material may sometimes be deemed apocrypha if it has been produced independently of the universe's creator. For example, Buffyverse creator Joss Whedon has little involvement with Buffyverse novels, has never closely overseen or edited one, and has never read an entire novel through.
Star Trek canon consists of the Star Trek television series and movies. All other Star Trek novels and comics, whether licensed by Paramount or not, are not part of canon, but are classified as apocrypha.
Fan fiction is referred to as fanon.
The word derives the Greek word 'απόκρυφα, which means opened, revealed, or uncovered. Jerome coined the term to refer to those books of the Old Testament that were not found in the Hebrew Tanakh, and it has since been used to describe religious texts that may not belong to the canon.
The term is used in nonreligious contexts. An account or anecdote is said to be apocryphal if its authenticity or veracity is questionable.
- Canon (fiction)
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