11

The title really says it all.

Are the novels that are written outside of the broadcast shows/movies considered official canon to the Star Trek universe?

Are certain novels canon if not all are? Is there a way to know that a novel is something that can be considered an official in-universe work?

8

This wikipedia article seems like a good place to start:

"Only the reference books (tech manual, encyclopedia, etc...) and two books by Jeri Taylor are considered canon outside the TV show and movies."

- Harry Lang, Senior Director of Viacom Consumer Products Interactive division, posts on StarTrek.com forum, January 2005.

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    I thought the official line was none of the novels were canon, including Taylor's. – Jeff Nov 8 '11 at 18:50
  • Canon has never been taken seriously in Star Trek. Even books written by Roddenberry are not canon. I think most of that stems from the nature of a tv series, there's just too many writers working on crazy deadlines to keep it straight. That said, it's very rare that a Pocket book is contradicted by the show (there's generally no overlap in storylines and nothing permanent happens in the books to the main characters) and they often provide plausible insight that is impossible to glean from a 50 minute episode. – Steve Jackson Nov 8 '11 at 22:16
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    @SteveJackson There is still official canon. – OghmaOsiris Nov 8 '11 at 22:18
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    @OghmaOsiris who decides it? Roddenberry changed his mind on what was or wasn't canon depending on what would make the currently produced episode better while he was still alive. There's no rule like Star Wars that a Voyager episode that contradicts something in TNG is more canon. Some people argue that certain TOS episodes are non-canon because Roddenberry didn't oversee it. The parts of the movies that Roddenberry didn't agree with are "non-canon". It's a very arbitrary definition in Star Trek. – Steve Jackson Nov 8 '11 at 22:28
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    I don't think it is arbitrary at all. Raven13's description of Trek canon (with Jeff's correction) is the only one I have ever heard. And not to seem insensitive, but I'm not sure how much weight I would put on any of Roddenberry's statements later in his life after he had effectively been removed from any position of authority on the franchise. Although I'm a Star Wars fan as well, I find Trek's stance on canon to be refreshing. Just because it is simpler doesn't mean that it isn't "serious". – Matt Peterson Nov 11 '11 at 20:48

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