Talk:Fictional universe

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Fictional universe vs. setting

The fact that you have to keep drawing this line demonstrates that it's arbitrary. There is no qualitative difference between the fictional universe of Tales of the City and the fictional universe of Tales of the Beanworld; it's only a quantitative matter of degree. They're all fictional universes... just some are more fictional (and more elaborate) than others. - Jason A. Quest (talk) 00:37, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

If we go by your interpretation, then a fictional universe is no different from a setting, and this article may as well not exist. I think a fictional universe differs from a normal setting mainly in detail. If care has been taken to establish the setting's history, geography and physical rules then it is a fictional universe. These rules have to be consistent within the universe and, if other fictional works are set in that same universe, those must be consistent with them too. It may be OR to make such a claim, but it's also OR to make the claim that a fictional universe and a setting are interchangeable. So we lose either way. What we need is some lit-crit material on the subject.Serendipodous 07:53, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
Lacking that, how about we go with the literal meaning of the words rather than proceeding from your personal definition? You can say "there must be some difference from setting" as many times as you want, but that doesn't make it so, and your insistence on pulling one out of thin air is getting tiresome. Adding the phrase "a fictional universe must..." is the worst kind of OR; the purpose of an encyclopedia is to describe, not to set rules. - Jason A. Quest (talk) 13:34, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
If you feel that way, then this article should just be merged with setting. And I'm not suggesting that would necessarily be the wrong thing to do. But such a merge would in itself would be an interpretation, and I'd like some discussion before it happens. Serendipodous 13:36, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
Tales of the City relies heavily on readers' knowledge of the real San Francisco. Is that not a qualitative difference from Beanworld? —Tamfang (talk) 06:56, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Merge with Setting (fiction)

If there is no distinction between these two terms, as this article currently implies, then there is no need for two separate articles. Serendipodous 13:49, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Correction: The clear bright line that you insist on using to define whether something "qualifies" as a fictional universe (it must do this, it must have that) is not an objective one. That doesn't necessarily mean that this is the same topic as the other. - Jason A. Quest (talk) 16:18, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
The article, as it currently stands, makes no distinction whatsoever, clear or subjective. It is describing a fictional setting, nothing more, nothing less. Serendipodous 17:17, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
If that's what happens when you remove your personal demands upon the subject, so be it. -Jason A. Quest (talk) 20:06, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
But then why isn't this article called "Setting"? Serendipodous 20:14, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

12:39, 8 November 2009 Serendipodous (←Redirected page to Setting (fiction))

There doesn't appear to be any established distinction between a fictional universe and a fictional setting, so the two don't really need to be distinct. Serendipodous 13:47, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes there is because a fictional universe is a complete different topic than fictional setting— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
Got a reference for that? Serendipodous 03:09, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm sure I may agree somewhat, but the argument is weak. Is there a tautologist in the house? —Aladdin Sane (talk) 08:19, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
This is one of those times when Wikipedia really collapses as a resource. Everyone knows what a fictional universe is, everyone can explain what a fictional universe is, but no one (that I can find) has left a citation explaining what a fictional universe is. And until we can find one, we can't have an article on it. Serendipodous 14:01, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I undid the redirect. Not every fictional setting is a fictional universe. Think of it is the level of detail. And fictional settings can be in the real universe, most works of fiction happening in real world Earth after all. Dream Focus 20:08, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Sigh. Please explain, without resorting to original research, the difference between a fictional universe and a fictional setting, because right now the article makes no distinction between the two. I tried to make a distinction and my alterations were deleted as OR. But without OR there is no way to make a distinction. Serendipodous 20:46, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I've added something to try and make the distinction clear. It's OR, but without it there's no reason for this article to exist. Serendipodous 21:04, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
The term fictional universe is found everywhere, not just as a standard naming policy for Wikipedia articles. A quick scan of Google book search shows it used in over two thousand books [1] and in the news search it appears as well. Dream Focus 21:08, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Do any of those sources explain what a fictional universe is? Serendipodous 21:24, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm sure they do. Do you doubt the definition presented in the article is valid? I think the name itself is rather self explanatory. See the article for Universe and read the first sentence there. You can look up fictional as well if you have to. Dream Focus 21:43, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I wrote it so I don't think it's invalid. But if it's not cited, then it will be deleted, like it was last time. Serendipodous 21:44, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I doubt this article would have any chance of being deleted if it was ever sent to the AFD. Redirecting it without anyone noticing, is not the same as deleting it. Dream Focus 21:47, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
What I mean is that all the material that marked out a fictional universe from a setting was removed as original research. I tried to put it back, but, as you can see above, I was shot down. So I merged it, because if I couldn't define a fictional universe, there was no point in having an article on it. Serendipodous 21:53, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
  • I Googled for a definition and kept finding places that copied one from this Wikipedia article. Also found one strange alternate universe Wikipedia is in called Simple Wikipedia. [2] That's a good definition there. "A fictional universe is an made up world that is used as the setting for one or (more commonly) many works of fiction. It is often used in books but can be used in any form used to tell a story, for example role-playing games, television or movies. It can be said that every work of fiction makes a world of its own. A fictional universe is used when things in a story become a part either of other stories, or of games or other things." We could use that definition. Dream Focus 14:40, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
We can't use another wiki as a source. I really don't think we're going to find a source fit to Wikipedia standards, as I don't think this issue has been given much academic attention. For that reason I think this article either needs to remain uncited original research or re-merged. Serendipodous 20:12, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
I was thinking the definition was one that could be used. It makes sense. And nothing was merged, it just a redirect, and there no consensus to do that. If you do not doubt it to be a real concept, then you shouldn't talk about getting rid of it. The fact that so many Google news searches [3], Google book searches [4], and Google scholar searches even [5] call something a "fictional universe", and talk about it in this context, means it is clearly deserving an article. Dream Focus 22:49, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Those sources give many examples of what a fictional universe is, but not a definition of a fictional universe. The reason I redirected the article to "setting" is because without the specifics distinguishing the concept from "setting", which were removed as OR (because they are), there was no point in having this article. Serendipodous 23:06, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

merge with setting

I pretty much agree this article hardly makes a difference between setting and fictional universe. At any case this whole article really needs citations. (talk) 07:19, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

I'm reconciled that this article must exist in some form, given that Wikipedia itself uses the term in its policy statements. However, I would appreciate it if someone could determine exactly what a fictional universe is supposed to be. Serendipodous 19:09, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Some further explanation of the levels of canonicity that can exist in some of the more developed fictional universes might be helpful. I know this touches upon events like the Crisis on Infinite Earths - but there are some other interesting examples... The Dr Who Universe, the DC universe and the Alien/Predator universe spring to mind off the top of my head, all of which have evolved over decades across a variety of media via a plethora of authors/designers. To me, there's a subtle distinction between universes that take on a life of their own through usage by multiple authors in this way and well-defined settings that are largely the result of a single creator - like, say, Tolkien's Middle-Earth. Dybeck (talk) 21:58, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
"Shared universe" appears to be a subset of "fictional universe", so the implication is that not all fictional universes are shared. Serendipodous 22:14, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Aren't All Universes in Literature Fictional?

The biggest problem with trying to make distinctions about what is and what isn't a fictional universe is that, by definition, all fiction is made up. Merrian-Webster dictionary defines fiction as: "something invented by the imagination or feigned; specifically : an invented story." So trying to give qualitative value judgements on what is and what isn't is missing the point. I think the concept some of the editors are arguing for are more in line with alternative realities than fictional universes. You might think I am simply arguing semantics, but I think we're using an umbrella term that is so vague it has no meaning. People seem able to see that Star Wars is set in a fictional universe, but so is every Romance novel ever written, the only difference being Fabio isn't on the cover of The Empire Strikes Back, but the stories are still pure fantasy. Chalchiuhtlatonal (talk) 21:59, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

The problem is that there is this term "fictional universe" that is in wide circulation, and which many people consider worthy of a Wikipedia article. Wikipedia even has a policy on it. So it's quite clear we are dealing with something that is commonly understood. The problem is finding a written definition. Serendipodous 23:28, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Normally it refers to a series, not just a single novel. Dream Focus 23:35, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
No, not all universes in literature are fictional, because it's not quite true that "all fiction is made up". Consider Jane Austen's Persuasion, in which Anne Elliot visits Bath. Anne Elliot is fictional. Bath is not. (Notice, for example, that on the page Persuasion (novel) there is a link to the article on Bath, Somerset -- it is not an article on a fictional city, but on the actual city.
The whole point of Jane Austen's books, or the Sherlock Holmes books, is to depict fictional characters in the real universe. The whole point of The Wizard of Oz or the Narnia books is to depict fictional characters who travel from the real universe to a fictional universe.
Of course, you might argue that the novel Persuasion depicts an imaginary England, completely identical to the real England except for the presence of a dozen fictional people. But that's not how these terms are used in ordinary speech. In ordinary speech, the term "fictional universe" is not used to describe the setting of Jane Austen's novels. — Lawrence King (talk) 06:33, 7 August 2017 (UTC)

Joey and Seinfeld

I see that the reference to Joey and Seinfeld existing in the same universe has been removed and then reverted. I'll assume good faith for now, but can someone please find a citation for this, or remove it if this is not right? I was never a regular viewer of either series, but I'd never heard that. If Joey and Seinfeld are in the same universe, it follows that "Friends" and Seinfeld are in the same universe too, of course. The "Mad About You" reference is OK (via Ursula Buffay and Friends), but could also do with a citation. Dybeck (talk) 16:09, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Paul Reiser's old apartment on Mad About You is now owned by Kramer. NBC likes liknking up its shows. It's all part of the Tommy Westphall universe. Serendipodous 16:21, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
OK. I've tidied up the section and made it more relevant to the definition. It could still use a citation though if you can find one. Dybeck (talk) 12:25, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
This whole concept could use a citation. Serendipodous 13:13, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
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