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Canon versus Non-canon

(Some of the discussions below were copied from other discussion pages or user pages on this wiki).

Hi Careax,

Regarding canon vs. non-canon works, Frank herbert wrote a book called "Eye" some time ago. In this book was a chapter with a host of illustrations and short snippets about the Dune universe which occur sometime between "Dune" and "Dune Messiah". I am in the process of getting my hands on this book. If I can incorporate the material from that book into this wiki, would it be considered canon or con-canon? Thanks, --Mcada 02:51, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Hi Mcada. If Frank Herbert wrote it, then I think it's definitely canon. --Careax 03:00, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Hi Careax,

Thanks for that. Another question: the new books being released by BH & KJA set after Chapterhouse - canon or non-canon? I ask because they are apparently based on FH's outlines. Cheers, --Mcada 03:18, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Hi Mcada. Personally I'd be inclined to consider them non-canon. Although they're based on Frank's notes, the actual novels weren't written by him. So it could be argued his plots and character definitions have been subtly altered by BH and KJA. That's my opinion, and I suspect the opinion of quite a few other fans (especially the hard-core ones). Now if it turns out they've left some unedited chapters in there that FH wrote, that will make it really complicated! :-)
What do you think? I just read your user page, and found the answer to this question. I agree with you on the BH and KJA novels. I think they make for a fun read, but they're definitely not of the same calibre as FH's Dune novels. --Careax 05:47, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

I was SOOO excited when I found this wiki! I'm glad I'm able to contribute to it in whatever way I can. I do have some concerns about canon/noncanon. Since all of the new novels are copyrighted by the Herbert Partners Ltd (in various incarnations) and presumably approved by the remaining Herberts, shouldn't those be considered canon? I'll be happy to go with the convention of the entire wiki, but I just wanted to address that. Thanks again!

Dolza42 03:24, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

I was also wondering: I managed to get my little hands on a copy of The Dune Encyclopedia. It has a wealth of information, some of which is based directly on Frank Herbert canon material, while other parts are definitely non-canon. Can they be included here? Cheers, --Mcada 03:25, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, this is a sticky issue for sure. Personally, I think that only material written by Frank himself should be considered canon. Even if it contradicts later writing also by him.
For me, the problem with considering anything copyrighted by the Herbert Partners Ltd as canon is that it envelopes the new Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson novels. While they make for an entertaining read, and contain a great deal of continuity, they lack the depth of Frank's work and contain a variety of plot contradictions compared to his novels. You make a strong argument Dolza42. But I don't think having the tacit approval of some of the Herberts is enough.
I'm not a hardcore fan who thinks they should be totally ignored. As I say, I think they add value to the Duniverse, but in much the same way as any competant fan writing does. I think we (contributors to this wiki) have been fairly thorough and detail-oriented. But we are definitely not canon.
As for the Dune Encyclopedia, that too brings up some canon concerns, in much the same way as the B Herbert/K Anderson novels. While it contains some writing by Frank, it also contains other people's writings that aren't quite the same. But having said that, well done on getting hold of a copy Mcada! By all means add information from it into the wiki. I'd love to read it, and I'm sure others would too. :-)
So to summarize my ramblings, I think a strong line has to be drawn in the sand, marking what is canon and what is non-canon. Otherwise it all gets messy, people get confused, and the value of this wiki is compromised. I don't think it's important where the writing comes from. If it's by Frank Herbert and it's related to Dune, it's canon. So any short stories or exerpts from the Dune Encyclopedia that were written by Frank, and the relevant material from Eye. So my suggestion is this:
  • Dune material written exclusively by Frank Herbert: canon.
  • Dune material written by Brian Herbert/Kevin Anderson (including the sequel novels), or coming from sources that were approved by Frank Herbert or Herbert Partners Ltd (including approved games, the movies/mini-series, and the Dune Encyclopedia): non-canon, but worthy of inclusion in the wiki with a caveat label.
  • Other Dune material: non-canon and not worthy of inclusion in this wiki.
But let me know what you guys think. This is an open project and your ideas and thoughts are appreciated. I hope my opinions on this topic don't put you off. I think there's some great teamwork forming here, and this wiki has the potential to be a massive resource for fans of Dune. --Careax 04:21, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Well, I think that the Dune Encyclopedia really shouldn't be considered canon, since KJA, BH, and Willis McNelly say that it's non-canon. Careax also makes a strong argument for canon. I think that my jury is still out for canon inclusion of the new novels. Until I can come up with a better position, the currently accepted definition is great, and I fully support it. Thanks for your opinion, Careax! Dolza42 17:52, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Yeah I'm also of the opinion that anything not written by Frank Herbert is non-canon. However, just so that you all know, I will be including things from the Dune Encyclopedia here since it contains lots of great articles that can enrich this wiki. I will, however, make it clear that the source material is the encyclopedia, and that it is non-canon. Meanwhile, itr also contains excellent analytical essays on canon characters that could add some depth to the canon articles. - --Mcada 12:43, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Sounds good to me. I'm looking forward to seeing some of the Dune Encyclopedia info. Did some of FH's writing go into the encyclopedia? I thought I read somewhere he made some small contributions to it too. --Careax 21:54, 17 October 2006 (PDT)
Apparently he did write some of the articles, but they were under a pseudonym. He did, however, write the forword, giving some of the examples of the histories "officially" revealed of certain aspects of the Dune saga. It's possible, therefore, that the articles he mentions in the forword are his, but there't no direct evidence of this. If I manage to discover exactly which articles he wrote, I'll let you guys know straight away. --Mcada 09:24, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

New template for content of unknown accuracy

I've created a new "Unknown" template (called by: {{unknown}}), which can be used on pages or for sections where the content seems legitimate, a) but doesn't look familiar (to an editor); and b) doesn't have any concrete references out there on the Web.

This came about because of the Tridea moon article. It looks legit, but I'm not certain. Does anyone remember coming across mention of it in a Dune novel?

I'm sure there are other articles this new template could be used for. If you see it on a page and know the source, please add a topic on that article's discussion page briefly outlining the source, and remove the template call. Thanks. --Careax 18:16, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

I think the 'unknown template' is a good idea. With regard to the Tridea article, this is definitely non-canon. The Great House mentioned in the article is never mentioned in the Frank Herbert novels. It's possible the information comes from Hunters of Dune, though I haven't read it. I am certain, however, that it's non-canon. --Mcada 01:52, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
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