|Synonyms:||Expanded Universe, E/U, e/u, paracanon|
|See also:||Alternate Universe, canon, Verse|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
In fandoms with a canon that spans different media the fandoms sometimes draw a distinction between the primary source material and secondary texts, such as tie-in novels or comics for a tv series. These materials form the extended universe of a source. This is also used as a label for fanworks based on these secondary sources.The phrase is also used as an extension of the alternate universe genre of fan fiction with a slight twist. In 1996, Nicole V. explained this usage in a post to the Virgule-L mailing list. It is reposted here with permission:
I remember coming up with this phrase about a year ago (at least I think it was me!) to cover the ideas we were bouncing around about some of the modern TV tough guys. As long as the event doesn't contradict anything in the aired episode, and *could* have happened, it's Extended Universe. Great crossover tool. For example, Alan Cade (The Chief) was in Washington, DC, in the 70's, at some kind of drug seminar sponsored by the FBI. Who else might have been in WDC at that seminar? Frank McPike (Wiseguy), Skinner (X-Files). Frank was in Vietnam, so was Roger Lococco. Remember Frank telling Vinnie "I love a man in uniform." So what if the last time he saw Roger, he was in uniform? Neil Burnside (Sandbaggers), Joe Dawson (Highlander), Nick Knight (Forever Knight), Hutch (Starsky & Hutch), and many many more TV Tough Guys were in Vietnam. Macklin was in Hong Kong, that's close (Pros). We don't know where Roger (Wiseguy) went after Vietnam, but he could have gone to Africa. Bodie (Pros) was in Africa. You get the idea. (My Media Cannibals teeshirt says, "They were all in Vietnam.") As long as the characters' background isn't contradicted, I think it is a far more satisfying speculation than What if Doyle Were a Hairdresser? (AU) (Professionals) as a way of exploring the characters' development before we meet them in the series. My favorite type of story tend to be set square in the series, explaining some aired event, or plausible deviations (Lovett's The Road to Hell), and EU's (circuit story 'The Gods of the Copybook Headings', Sandbaggers/Pros).