|See also:||Alternate Universe, Shared Universe, Cycle|
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An abbreviation of the word "universe." Written variously as verse, -verse, or 'verse.
Can refer to a matter-of-fact shortening of the word "universe," but in fandom at large, 'verse often refers to the world created within a work or connected works of fiction. For instance, J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth could be referred to as a 'verse, as can the many planets and larger culture within Star Wars or Star Trek.
Coined by fans, the term was first used in canon in Buffy the Vampire Slayer as common slang for universe. In Joss Whedon's television series Firefly, most memorably spoken by the character of River Tam in a moment of triumph: "No power in the 'verse can stop me."
Fans refer to shared fictional universes of TV shows as a 'verse such as the Buffyverse for the shared universe of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. The Xenaverse mailing list was founded in March 1996 and predates the BtVS use of the term. It was not used just to describe the shared universe of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess, but also as a term the Xena fandom used to refer to itself.
Within fandoms with canonical AUs, fans may use "verse" to reference those AUs. For instance, the Wishverse is a canonical Buffy the Vampire Slayer AU in which Buffy never came to Sunnydale. Viewers first saw this universe in a Season 3 episode titled "The Wish." In Stargate Atlantis fandom Mensaverse and Vegasverse are examples of the same.
A fan writer might refer to a certain 'verse within which she is writing stories. For example, "This story takes place in the Written by the Victors 'verse." This explanation conveys to readers that the story referred to will be connected to events in that earlier story in some way.
- Firefly, season 1, episode 9: "War Stories".
- Buffyverse, Wikipedia. (Accessed 21 February 2009.)
- Diane Silver. A Cyber History of The Online Xena Community: Part 1 -- September 1995 to June 1996, in Whoosh! #13, October 1997. (Accessed 21 February 2009)