Canon fodder

The ponyverse as we know it, overwhelmingly huge as it may seem at times, is still pretty small compared to some of those Other Fandoms, though most of them had a substantial head start: G4 began a mere 61 months ago. (If you question that word “mere,” come back when you’ve lived twelve times that long.) Being newish and smallish, we actually acknowledge canon handed down from the heirs and assigns of the Brothers Hassenfeld: the episodes, certainly; the books, mostly; stuff like Equestria Girls, hardly at all. In larger literary and cultural spheres, it’s more of a collective effort:

What the literary anti-canonists refuse to accept, in virtually every case, is that a canon does not exist because it was declared from On High. It emerges from the widespread recognition of the quality of its components, and their formative importance to later writers. In the usual case, that’s because their attempts to gain fame by dismissing or contradicting some canon fail miserably. The execrable quality of most of the crap that’s won awards stands in testimony.

Of course, “canon” in this sense refers not to the established rules of a genre universe, or whatever alternate universe may obtain, but to the works acknowledged by a culture as having significant value to that culture. Still, the fundamental rules apply: if you’re proclaiming the existence of a universe, the first thing that will be called into question is your mad world-building skill. You can break any rules you like, but you’d better be prepared to defend the breakage.

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