There are two kinds of Elsewhere Fic.
The first is clearly inspired by the canon, but happens entirely elsewhere
. It contains none of the canon events or characters and often none of the locations; only Original Characters playing by the Verse's rules
. So, there's very little chance of damaging continuity or having canon characters act Out Of Character. So no Kirks
, no Mulders
, no Harry Potters
... just original characters. Thus you might have (say) a Buffy
fic dealing with a Slayer in Ancient Egypt or a Star Wars
fic about a Wookiee Jedi in the Old Republic.
The second type takes place somewhat closer to canon. With a canon location, there will be canon characters doing canon things. They may appear in cameos and small roles, but the real story revolves around one or more Original Characters. Writers new to the Elsewhere Fic may turn this into a Mary Sue
fic, with the canon characters existing only to heap praise on the OC, but better examples have the canon characters around only to give the OC their next mission, or to emphasise the universe the fic is set in, sitting around in bars and talking about their missions.
The result is something a bit like the relationship between the various Star Trek
series: set in the same universe but telling a different story. Thematic Series
lend themselves well to this (the rules are general enough to be portable with new characters and/or settings
yet strong enough to recognize the brand from the rules alone
). An Expanded Universe
typically includes professional examples of this.
Contrast with Transplanted Character Fic
which supposedly does focus on canon characters, but drops almost everything canon about them. It is important to realise that in order to qualify as an Elsewhere Fic, as opposed to an Original Work with Cameos or a Transplant, the rules of the Verse
(as of when the fanwork was written
) must be obeyed. As such, fics that have the premise
of, e.g.: "George Costanza
is on a Pokémon
Journey" would be considered, e.g., a Transplant from the POV of Seinfeld
but potentially also an Elsewhere from the POV of Pokemon
; and, therefore, a type of Fusion Fic
Not to be confused with fic for St. Elsewhere
Please sort out the examples by the media they are based on!
Anime and Manga
- Many Strike Witches doujinshi, such as "Witch in Africa" (considered to be "semi-canonical") involves Alternate History equivalents to other World War II campaigns in that setting, such as Northern Africa and the Suez Canal.
- It's more common for writers to create fanmade Pretty Cure continuities with their own characters, setting, and premise than it is to write fanfic based on the established seasons. The canon, what with its constant continuity reboots, lends itself well to this.
- If shipping isn't involved, this may be the most common Yu-Gi-Oh! fanfic type. On a side note, given that the card game was only supposed to be an arc, the original premise would've lent itself better to such fics.
- Also a common type of Digimon fic, in no small part thanks to the franchise's canon being made up of alternate universes and continuity reboots, with only the concept of the Digimon themselves to link them.
- The One Piece fanfiction community is also quite well known for this, with many fics being centered on the adventures of completely original crews.
- Naruto's setting: Even in canon while there are many ninjas, each one is unique in his or her own way.
- Scoop and Dire Straits are examples of two Robotech first-person Elsewhere Fics of the second type, though the protagonists of both stories meet some of the canon characters at various points. Notably, neither of the protagonists of the stories are named.
- Boy Scouts ˝ (readable here) is set in the same universe as Rumiko Takahashi's Ranma ˝, but follows an entirely original group of characters who are Boy Scouts living in Massachusetts, some of whom are a group of Self Inserted Marty Stu characters who have curses from the same training ground of cursed springs that some of the Ranma ½ characters had once visited. There are brief occasional appearances by Ranma ½ characters, most notably a Running Gag of brief appearances by a very lost Ryoga. There is more potential for characters from the original work to make appearances in the second year (story-wise) of the series, which has been retitled Boy Scouts ½ in Japan (and also throws Maison Ikkoku into the mix), but Word of God says that there will still be no appearances by either Saotomes or Tendos.
- Angel's Breath, a Fairy Tail fic. It contains a completely original guild during the time that most of the Fairy Tail guild are frozen in time, although it is in a boat where it can progress past the point canon resumes and converge.
- The vast majority of Gundam Build Fighters fics use original characters with the author's own personal dream machines. To be honest, the setting practically begs for it.
- Many fics set in The Crow's setting will have an original character resurrected by the title bird to seek vengeance for their loved ones, keeping with the original graphic novels' premise of doing the same.
- X-Men has "Tales of the Common People" fics which involve non-superheroes in the world of mutants.
- Into the Wild is an Avatar fanfic roughly set during Jake's training with the Na'vi. It primarily follows two OCs as they travel through Pandora and develop their characters. A few canon characters get cameos, but they don't affect the story much. It even goes for Doomed by Canon with gusto. It's a bit like that.
- In the Titanic (1997) fanfiction Come What May, the main characters are two Mary Sues who board the ship and fall in love with two of the Titanic's real officers, with characters and scenes from the movie appearing occasionally. There are a number of Titanic fanfics that work along these lines: sometimes the movie characters only make cameos, or sometimes a secondary character is the OC's love interest.
- For the Star Wars series:
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is basically an Elsewhere Fic in video game form.
- Paranormalities takes place in the five-year gap between the end of The New Jedi Order (although the prologue takes place shortly before the beginning of that series) and The Dark Nest Trilogy. However, it features a mostly OC cast while the few canon characters present (or mentioned) have minor roles. And it doesn't necessarily require any knowledge of the two book-series it's set between to understand (although there are references to the former and other parts of the Star Wars canon).
- Rise of the Red Eclipse is a type one fic, using the Forces of Corruption expansion for Empire at War as a jumping point to write an entirely new universe and not interrupt the official Star Wars canon. Events like the Clone Wars and other bits of Galactic history are mentioned and even analyzed at times from the perspective of the author and protagonists. It's Star Wars just in a different galaxy and without the technological stagnation that the EU makes mention of at times.
- Monty Python's Life of Brian is an Elsewhere Fic set in Palestine in roughly 30 AD in which a certain Jesus son of Joshua makes one very brief cameo appearance in the background. But events in his life are mirrored in that of the more important, but historically obscure, Brian of Nazareth.
- Harry Potter examples:
- Harry Potter And The Man Of Unknown, the very first Potter fanfic posted on Fanfiction.Net back in 1999, is the second type. It's set almost entirely at another Wizarding School with its own faculty and students, but the canon characters pop up occasionally and an extended sequence towards the end takes place at Hogwarts. Harry himself is The Ghost in that the story pretty much revolves around him, but he just barely makes an actual appearance.
- Conspiracy Theory, set in the Harry Potter universe, proposes a Grand Unified Theory of everything weird that happened in mid-20th-century America.
- Hogwarts 1835 is a Harry Potter Fic taking place in, wouldn't you know it, 1835. With none of the canon characters, it focuses on the lives of 'normal' Hogwarts students.
- The Ollivander Children features very few of the original Harry Potter characters, mostly Tonks, Mr. Ollivander (natch), and Dolores Umbridge.
- The Alexandra Quick series takes place in the Harry Potter universe, but is set in America more than a decade after the fall of Voldemort. Apart from a brief mention of Voldemort in the first story, none of the canon characters are so much as alluded to — though SPEW, surprisingly enough, plays a slightly more important role, as it has spread to America (with the slightly changed acronym, ASPEW) and house-elves are vital to the series.
- Here's a curious case of this that is also a crossover: Sakura and the Scottish School of Magic as well as its sequel Sakura and the Whirlwind of Discovery. It manages to fit smoothly into canon without contradicting it.
- Popular in Warrior Cats fanfiction, with stories being set either before or after the established canon but in the same universe; also, fics in the same style in different locations, like America.
- Most Battle Royale fanfiction tends to be the first type, ignoring everything but the base premise - young people killing each other in an isolated location with a variety of weapons over a short time period. Besides some version of the explosive collars and danger zones, absolutely everything else, including the specific rules of the Program, are alterable by the writer. Also, the setting is likely to be changed from an alternate version of Japan to an alternate version of the author's own country of origin. That said, the original characters/plotlines are considered archetypal. Survival of the Fittest and 72 Hours are examples of this.
- Similar to the Battle Royale example, a lot of The Hunger Games fan fiction is this. We are told from the beginning that the basic premise (24 teenagers forced by a cruel government into a Deadly Game each year, with only one victor allowed to survive) has been going on for 73 years before the main characters really enter the story, so there is plenty of room for fan fiction. A less common type II variant involves a canon character as a mentor in the Games, trying to keep an original character tribute alive.
- The Servants Of Ungoliant, an Elsewhere Fic based on The Silmarillion, is set in the same world and time period as the original story. However, it occurs in the unused continent known as the Dark Land, rather than in the familiar lands of Middle-earth or Beleriand. In addition to this, only a few canon characters appear or are mentioned in the story, while the others are Canon Foreigners, Original Characters, or a mixture of the two. This story also recycles and utilizes various unused elements that were featured in The History of Middle-earth and various licensed Tolkien-related works.
- Snowmaiden is set somewhere in Middle Earth, none of the original characters appear, but the elves are recognizably Tolkien's.
- Many World War Z fanfics fall into this category, or at least those which follow the same canon as the book do. Authors follow the basic "interview with a survivor of the Zombie War" format, but with their own characters.
- A Different Prison is set inside a Watcher prison in the Buffyverse, an institution implied to exist but unvisited in canon.
- The Star Trek franchise:
- Peter David's Star Trek: New Frontier novels are nearly a pure example of this, except that a few of his characters played minor roles in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
- Other than Riker, Troi, and Tuvok in high positions,note Star Trek: Titan does this as well.
- In fact, many novel-only spinoff series of Trek are like this. The I.K.S. Gorkon/Klingon Empire series, for example, is a completely new crew other than Klag (Riker's rival in "A Matter of Honor") and Rodek (formerly Kurn, given a new identity in Deep Space Nine's "Sons of Mogh"); and the Starfleet Corps of Engineers series is mostly new crew as well.
- Due to legal restrictions dealing with actor likenesses and Cryptic's policies about in game NPCs (No-go to avoid confusion with official storylines), this is often what player-created missions in Star Trek Online end up as. You can talk about things that happen and refer to events or people, but no established characters are allowed to appear in missions.
- Another non-fanfic example: The Buffy the Vampire Slayer tabletop roleplaying game offers a number of these settings for original characters to play around in, including the modern-day American northwest, a post-apocalyptic Cyberpunk setting and a vampire-infested old west.
- Gemini is a Doctor Who fic about a team of time travelers, led by a former Time Agent and including an sentient time ship, who discover a military research facility kidnapping victims for genetic experiments in an attempt at creating Time Lord super-soldiers to fight against the Daleks.
- Doctor Who used this trope a couple of times during the Russell T. Davies era, filming an episode each series where the main cast had little more than cameo roles in order to fit shooting fourteen episodes into a production schedule designed for thirteen. The first, "Love and Monsters", was essentially an Affectionate Parody of Doctor Who fandom, focusing on a group of people who bond over their past encounters with the Doctor and the dark turn their friendship takes when their group is taken over by an alien that absorbed humans. The second, "Blink", involved a photographer being sent cryptic messages in the present day from the Doctor (and later, her own friend) who were trapped in the past thanks to the Weeping Angels.
- Big Finish is the ... wait for it... Master of this trope, as along with their Big Finish Doctor Who audio dramas, they also have a LOAD of dramas concerning other parts of the 'verse. BF actually started out this way, as Virgin Publishing first entrusted them with the Bernice Summerfield series (itself mostly an Elsewhere Fic series based on a novel-only companion of the Doctor).
- The series first used this trope as early as 1965. "Mission to the Unknown" (a teaser episode for "The Daleks' Master Plan") features none of the regular characters, the protagonist being a Space Security agent who learns of the Daleks' invasion plans and tries (unsuccessfully) to alert the Earth authorities.
- Fanmade seasons of Super Sentai/Power Rangers, Kamen Rider, and the like are also rather common, since as with Pretty Cure, every new season has its own continuity. For example: Power Rangers Take Flight, an Elsewhere Fic adaption of Choujin Sentai Jetman.
- Fan fiction writer Mr. Chaos is famous for using this type of writing, especially the second type. Glimpses, GX: Hunters, and The Greatest Story Finally Told are all examples of this.
His Heroes Fanfic even goes so far as to lampshade this with its title:ELSEWHERE. It has run as long as the Heroes TV show, includes a massive cast of original characters, and has featured cameos by almost the entire cast of Heroes (with some, such as Claire Bennett and Adam Monroe, revealed to be related to the main characters) , with the story itself referencing each episode the newest chapter goes along with.
- Pisay Heroes occurs entirely in the Philippines, with original characters and scattered references to the original Company in Heroes.
- The Gift is almost not even the first type of this for Quantum Leap, except it does (will?) mention the main OC tutoring a pre-teen genius with the last name of Beckett. Well, that and the whole premise aside from the Gender Bender stuff.
- The entirety of BattleTech fiction is basically Elsewhere Fic, even the professional works; it's actually rare for the story to cover something from the tabletop or vice versa. But sometimes, some Elsewheres do Ascend:
- The least Elsewhere Fic book of all 40 or 50-odd novels is Grave Covenant; two of its battles were included in The Dragon Roars amid another fifteen scenarios.
- Also the Warrior Trilogy by Michael Stackpole, which details the 4th Succession War, which was detailed in a number of sourcebooks.
- Similar to the BattleTech example, pretty much all fiction set in the Warhammer 40,000 'verse, professionally published or not, falls into this category.
- A professionally published example is Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, which is about the eponymous characters running around having existential crises while all the bloody vengeance palace intrigue high drama of Hamlet is going on in the background.
- Many, many, many BIONICLE fanfics feature a team of OC Toa, on a different island somewhere on the planet. Whether or not they're fighting the Makuta as well varies, though.
- The No More Heroes fic Bloody Way is of the type two variety, as it takes place in Santa Destroy, the setting of the first two games. Most of the characters and assassins are original, but the author has said that the original characters will make appearances.
- The Assassin's Creed series is so rife for these kinds of stories that it was only a matter of time before it got its own community on Fanfiction. This includes Assassin's Creed: Rising Sun, which is mostly set in Japan and has only featured one canon character thus far.
- Since Castlevania is a long series of stories about varying protagonists, many of whom are related, who attack the well-established villain's castle, it is trivially simple to create an original character (related to canon ones or not) in a new year and have them get involved. It's not too different from how the actual series is written.
- Red Dead Redemption fanfic Dead West is set in the same universe, but seven years prior to the main game. The cast is almost entirely made up of original characters, though has the same locations and various Continuity Nods to the main game's characters and events.
- A Rose And A Thorn 4 by Harley Quinn hyenaholic is an example of the second type of Elsewhere Fic. There are Canon Characters doing canon things, and it's set slap bang in the middle of the Sonic the Hedgehog Sonic Adventure 2 universe (or at least, 50 years before it)... but the real story revolves around two Original Characters.
- Enemy of My Enemy does not feature any of the original Halo characters or settings, instead focusing on several Original Characters, both human and Sangheili as they struggle to defend the colony of Crassus against a Covenant Loyalist attack force.
- The Pokémon world: creatures derived from real creatures and/or philosophical concepts, regions that (mostly) resemble regions on earth, a hierarchical league structure that can be easily duplicated (or modified)... Very given to this.
- This trope was effectively enforced on the Pokemon fanfic forum at pojo.com around the year 2000. Several prominent forum members (including some of the moderators) objected strongly to fics which starred the canon protagonists on the grounds that they were "unoriginal". Stories which revolved around an Original Character going on a Pokemon journey came in for similar criticism. As a result, though neither type of story was officially banned, members generally avoided writing them and instead wrote about their own characters in various versions of the Pokemon world, some of which were far removed from canon.
- Warriors of the World is a type two variant for Ragnarok Online in that it features original characters in canon locations and meeting various canon NPCs and characters along the way. The main feature is that the canon locations and characters are part of an expanded lore that was generated from a "what if this world was more realistic?" situation.
- Dangan Ronpa has many fanfics featuring original casts in their own mutual killing games. Examples are:
- The Basalt City Chronicles (a fanfic of Gene Catlow) is of the second type, but much of it also takes place in the comic's original setting.
- Project Future is made by a collaboration of Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures fans and takes place in the same world, but 150 years in the future and only a couple characters from the original comic have appeared, and usually just a panel or two. Granted, there is a lot of in-universe roleplaying on the DMFA forum, which is where most of Project Future's creators met.
- Selfstuck is a type II of Homestuck. It is set in the same world as the Beta kids, with callbacks and repercussions being passed back and forth without breaking canon in any way.
- Sburb Patch Notes is a type II of Homestuck solely due to its use of Andrew Hussie as the CEO of Skaianet Laboratories. As Skaianet Laboratories was never really expanded upon in Homestuck proper, it has become a small ball of fanon.
- Old Main is a Type 2 story based on Times Like This, and although the same temporal physics are in place (time windows created by Sesquicentium), the setting is not Dallas but Whitewater, Wisconsin, and the focus of the story is on two college students using time travel to rescue a physics experiment from fire-induced oblivion. Cassie and Agent Scott show up halfway in and have supporting roles.
- Lots of Lion King fanfic features an entirely OC cast, or canon characters in minor roles only. Stories set many generations before or after the events of the movies are common.
- Another non-fanfic example: in addition to being a Deconstructive Parody of Jonny Quest, The Venture Bros. also took place in the same continuity. At least, at first...
- Paths Less Traveled By is a Transformers Animated fanfic set inside Cosmos' mind. Cosmos himself has no relation whatsoever to the characters in the cartoon save for waving his arms around in a crowd scene. It's generally considered AU, though, since the relationship between the characters (Cosmos and Beachcomber) is not canon (the characters themselves, though, most definitely exist).
- Villains is the Grand Finale of the Justice League cartoon (the one with Lex Luthor and Brainiac) through the eyes of the The Flash's Rogues Gallery as they watch it in their bar.
- Elsewhere Fics of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic are very common. Much of the world so far is unexplored or unexplained (for example, is Equestria the whole world, or are there other kingdoms ruled by other species of talking animal, like the buffalo tribes seen in "Over a Barrel"?), and while many fics usually include Canon characters, ones that don't take advantage of this openness.
- The fanfic Fallout: Equestria is notable in that it managed to spawn its own universe, with other authors building on its foundation and using many of its original concepts. While the story (and the sequels) are set two centuries later and focus on the OC protagonists, the original Mane six are not only notable historical figures whose actions were largely responsible for the current postapocalyptic state of Equestria, but actually have a clear and strong impact on the lives and motivations of the heroes, despite being generally very dead.
- Star Mares uses a similar approach (only with Star Wars instead of Fallout), except that not only are the Mane Six sidelined into secondary roles in the Star Wars storyline, but the main action of the comic largely avoids the films' protagonists in favor of less heroic ponies who enable critical moments in the main plot more or less accidentally.
- On a less epic scale, there are also a lot of fics that are set within the show's canon, but deal primarily with background characters. An example is Lyra's Lousy Day, which deals with the experiences of a popular background pony during the events of "Swarm of the Century".
- Welcome Reality + Equestria takes place in New Canterlot 1808 years after season one, which, understandably, is a very different world.
- Operation:SIN is a very slim type II for Codename: Kids Next Door, with only 3 canon characters (Father and Cree Lincoln, and her sister Abigail Lincoln), making very brief appearances and few other canon characters being only mentioned. It mainly involves the 2 main OCs, for a a pair of teenaged girls who are former KND Operatives trying to elude the Decommissioning Squad. Only to be forced to join the Teen Ninjas for protection from them, much to their dismay, yet later are both rescued by, and decide to join an anti-decommissioning rebellion called the Kids Eternally There, who both their parents have been secretly working for. This Elsewhere Fic serves as a Prequel to Captainwii's debut KND fanfic, Operation:ROGUE, which is currently being re-written.
- Brazillian fanfic The Guardian (O Guardião) is a type I, based on Avatar: The Last Airbender. It has currently almost nothing to do with the actual show, aside from a few mentions to the Avatar himself and bending.
- Silence Of The Hare for Kung Fu Panda involves a team of OC's having their own adventures entirely separate from canon.
- Better Off Not Knowing is concurrent with the finale of Book 3 of The Legend of Korra...but it's set in the Fire Nation, and no canon characters appear in person.
- Orion's Story is a ThunderCats (1985) fanfic in which the protagonist is a Thunderian boy who is captured by Mutants and taken to the planet Plundarr, where he is sold into slavery. Pretty much every character featured is an Original Character, though Lion-O's father, Claudus (who's in a few episodes of the cartoon) does put in an appearance towards the end.