ST Canon Updates

Wow . . . Star Trek novel authors get really pissed off about canon. It's amusing, really. Whereas Karen Traviss and other SW authors have been polite (if strained) even in the face of SD.Net flamefests and blog comment invasions against them, Trek authors seemingly aren't so well-behaved.

I started asking the proverbial 'too many questions' in the Star Trek Lit forum at TrekBBS in response to a claim that those two of Taylor's novels said to be canon in fact weren't, and that furthermore StarTrek.com wasn't a valid source of Trek information. Specifically, I asked for sources, and pointed out links to my sources so as to explain the reason I was asking.

And then I was surprised to find myself set upon, being flamed like a newbie Trekkie after his first SD.Net post. (They were slightly more well-behaved, but only insofar as language was concerned. Check it out here.)

In any case, as a result of the exchanges I've thus gotten some material for my Trek canon page, and have updated it a bit and added new quotes to the quotes page. The main update to the Trek canon page appears here.

UPDATE: Not all of them in that thread are bad. One of them PM'ed me and we had a manly-hug sort of moment, so don't think too harshly of the whole lot.


  1. Is it just me or is the idea of ‘personal canon’ a bit oxymoronic?

  2. Hehe . . . yeah. But it's more descriptive than "belief" and less cumbersome than "beliefs about what is true in such-and-such". We need a new word, but the problem is that so many potential words are either not-quite-what-we're-going-for or else they're 'connotatively occupied', if you will. That is to say, they'd work but they have some other well-known connotation attached.

    I mean, if you compare canon and 'personal canon' words to, say, words for "imposed code of behavior" and "self-imposed code of behavior", you'll quickly find that the codes of behavior get a lot more words. Imposed codes are laws, codes, rules, et cetera . . . self-imposed codes are personal codes, ethics, codes of honor, et cetera.

    Personally, I'd like to use the word codex . . . it kinda fits with canon on some peculiar aesthetic level. And, the Latin source refers to a wooden stump to which people were tied . . . in this case, it would be the beliefs to which one ties oneself.

    In fact, I think I'll start using that word on the canon pages and see how far it goes.

  3. If you'd followed more of the canon discussions on TrekBBS, you'd have come across the term "personal continuity," which is probably the best alternative to the oxymoronic "personal canon." You'd also understand why the authors get snippy on the subject: they're tired of something that really doesn't matter being brought up over and over and over again. They're also tired of the drive-by postings like, "I don't read the novels because they aren't really real if they aren't canon." After all, NONE of it is real.

  4. Given my first post in the thread, I hardly think they could've confused me with the "drive-by postings" crowd.

    As for "personal continuity" . . . that's a little better than 'personal canon', but still pretty clunky. I still prefer the idea of a single word, one which hopefully avoids the Germanhabitofmakinganewwordoutoflotsofotherwords.

  5. What thread was it? I don't usually (OK, EVER) go into that forum. I know that we 've got our share of crazies (even SWEU crazies!), but didn't think ST canon, as far as books go, was an issue.