so, some context.
I've always thought of original work universes as real, solid universes (well, they're fictional so they aren't REAL-real like real life is real-real, but bear with me) and fan fiction worlds as illusion universes.
think It's A Wonderful Life. Clarence shows George a fake world where George was never born, and then there's the real world where George IS born. and in A Christmas Carol, the ghost of christmas future shows Scrooge a fake, illusory future that doesn't actually exist.
I've always thought that fan fiction universes are the equivalent of that fake world without George, that fake future where scrooge is dead, etc. since fan fiction isn't canonical.
I've always thought that original work universes, which ARE canonical, get to be real, while fan fiction and any other non-canonical works are illusion worlds.
but I'm wondering–since all fiction is…well, fiction, and since none of it is actually real-real like we are, have I been wrong, or is this a legitimate way to view fan-fiction and other non-canon material?
like, Spongebob is not canon to, say, Game of Thrones, but both universes are canonical to themselves. they're both real. can the same be applied to fan-fiction? even if a fanfiction universe isn't canonical to the work that inspired it, does that make it an illusory, what-if world, or does that just mean that it gets to exist as its own thing? are fanfiction worlds real or illusion?
Source: reddit post