Video: fictional truth and secondary worlds

Posted a new interactive fiction video. Starting (again) from Adam Cadre's 9:05, I discuss issues about fictional truth, secondary worlds and canonicity. Major roles for Tolkien and M. John Harrison. This video should also of interest to traditional fiction folks!

Since I wrote out the entire text of this video, I'm planning to post that as an article here sometime in the future.


  1. Looking forward to the text version. I've watched both this and the previous video and profited much from them. (I've played 9:05 before, and some of your games as well.) I'm not to keen on videos in general and very much prefer reading.

    It has been ages since I've read Tolkien, especially the Silmarillion. As this is a mix of mythology and history, might there be any conflicting versions of event in it? That could be a kind of compromise - not worldbuilding, but historybuilding. While there is a definite number of hairs on your head, is that also true for Alexander the Great's head (at a specific point in time)?

    I agree that questions of what really happened (i.e. canonicity) are somehow naive. There is no "really", there is only the text. On the other hand, returning to you Poirot example: aren't mysteries exactly about what really happened? Traditional mysteries present an obvious story, suggested by the facts, and the "real" story, discovered by the detective. I think that's why there are so many mystery pastiches and rewritings of other fiction as mysteries - it wasn't really Macbeth, nor his wife (they were suspecting, and protecting, each other), but Banquo instead, who wasn't dead after all (hence his "ghost" appearance).

    I recently reread Jane Austen's Emma and found out that there are is a theory, possibly bordering on fan fiction and not particulary well received by Austen scholarship, that the child delivered near the end of the novel, and about which remarkably little is said in the book, isn't really the apparent mother's, but of some other character. When exactly did Emma find out that her best friend was pregnant? Again a question of what really happened, or at least when. I think it *is* playing the game trying to come up with a good answer - as long as you accept that there is nothing that is not in the text and any discovered reality isn't really real.

    I'm sorry, got carried away while watching, had to pause the video and add to my comment here. Maybe videos are better sometimes than text versions.


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