Tie

Tagged: Theme

A term used in this encyclopedia to designate a work whose subject matter is tied to a previous work or concept. In some respects, therefore, a tie clearly resembles a sequel. However, ties can be differentiated from sequels in two ways: first, a tie is generally written to occupy a different format or genre than the work which inspires it – novelizations are, for instance, often spun off from films, an example being The Sensitives (1968), Louis Charbonneau's novelization of a script written by Deane Romano – and, second, a tie is almost always written by some person other than the author or creator of the original work or concept. (But see also Sequels by Other Hands.) Ties can be spun off, therefore, from almost any kind of source: from stories, novels, series, Comics, films, television series, Braids and other Shared-World enterprises, Games, Toys, or concepts put out for hire by packagers like Byron Preiss.

The first ties were almost certainly Shared-World anthologies like Mugby Junction (anth 1866 chap), edited by Charles Dickens as a special Christmas Number of his journal All the Year Round; and film novelizations can be found from before World War One, though most books-of-the-film, until at least 1950, were in fact simple reprintings of the original novel, sometimes with movie stills inserted. With the increasing commodification of sf in the 1980s, ties suddenly became very common, and were often found in conjunction with sharecropping activities. Very many tied novels have been generated by the Star Trek and Star Wars franchises. Ties can be distinguished from Sharecrops by the fact that ties are defined by their relationship to the source of their inspiration, while sharecrops – though they usually involve ties – are, strictly speaking, works of any sort written for hire.

The most interesting tied enterprises in the 1980s and 1990s are probably shared-world anthologies like George R R Martin's Wild Cards sequence from 1987 and the War World books ed from 1988 by Jerry Pournelle, John F Carr and Roland J Green; but works of interest can be found through the whole range of the phenomenon.

In this encyclopedia ties are marked in the relevant author Checklists by the self-explanatory note "tie:" or "tie to ..." in the comment field. We do not normally use this annotation for Parody, pastiche, Recursive SF and Sequels by Other Hands making use of established characters and settings without the constraints imposed by a franchise. Thus most independent novels about Sherlock Holmes are not so marked, but the Ellery Queen title A Study in Terror (1966; vt Sherlock Homes Versus Jack the Ripper 1967) – largely written by Paul W Fairman – is noted as a tie in both authors' entries because it is tied to a specific film. [JC/DRL]

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