Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What is the correct term for a book that sits alongside another book in time and universe, sharing some characters and events? Not after (a sequel) or before (a prequel), but parallel.

Example: I've just read "Ender's Shadow". It's a [something] of "Ender's Game".

share|improve this question
    
Maybe there would be different terms depending on whether it is written by the same author or not ... "Ender's Shadow is a .... of Ender's Game" but "Wicked is a .... of The Wizard of Oz" –  GEdgar Jul 20 '12 at 13:37

12 Answers 12

I would call them concurrent stories:

1: operating or occurring at the same time
2: running parallel

Regarding filling your blank, I humbly offer:

I've just read "Ender's Shadow". It's a [concurrent narrative] of "Ender's Game".
I've just read "Ender's Shadow". Its narrative is concurrent to "Ender's Game".

share|improve this answer
2  
The only flaw with concurrent, I think, is that it makes no implication either way about the stories being related, merely happening chronologically at the same time. –  Michael Edenfield Jul 18 '12 at 16:54

Ender's Shadow is a parallel or mirror of Ender's Game, just as Desperation is a parallel or mirror of The Regulators.

share|improve this answer
1  
I believe the term "parallel novel" is even included in some of Card's commentary regarding Ender's Shadow and Ender's Game. –  Iszi Jul 18 '12 at 14:13
    
@jwpat7 Oops. Thanks, Daniel δ –  Mark Beadles Jul 18 '12 at 14:29

Paraquel.

Paraquel seems to already have a level of acceptance. I found a few different links that talk about it. A Google search will reveal even more.

Funny how a word seems to be everywhere when one knows what to look for. My first thought was to use the prefix ~syn, as in synthesis to form synquel. I Then looked online and discovered some troll has trademarked the term. Which is lame. So I abandoned that idea and then considered one of the words suggested in a different answer, paralleloquel.

While in my opinion it seemed to have more potential than other suggestions, the problem is that the word parallel means two things alongside that don't ever touch, which isn't appropriate for two stories that intertwine. However, if we strip down to just the prefix ~para, we find that it means "alongside, beyond, altered, contrary", which is suitable enough. Especially the "alongside" and "altered" bits.

~para is Greek, and ~quel is Latin, but I don't think anyone is too bothered about that kind of thing anymore.

So, my vote now is definitely for paraquel.

I've just read Ender's Shadow. It's a paraquel of Ender's Game.

Just for fun, also note in those links above some other interesting words such as circumquel, interquel, and inquel. One I don't see suggested, but could be, is intraquel, which would be a story within a story.

share|improve this answer
1  
Based on the edit I have converted my vote to +1. Your links are good. The word is organic and people are using it. I also think that other single-word suggestions congeal on the tongue. Furthermore, I like the more fundamental root of "para" vs. the more specific "parallel." After all, one could debate the "parallelism" of two stories that are entirely unrelated but cross at a discrete point, and continue in different directions; this is not a problem for the root "para." –  Tolerance72 Jul 20 '12 at 16:28
    
@Tolerance72: Sorry I got snarky. Glad we could get to a happier consensus. :) –  Dave M G Jul 20 '12 at 16:34
    
Likewise, on all accounts. Best regards! –  Tolerance72 Jul 20 '12 at 17:53

I've referred to those exact books as being coincident.

share|improve this answer

In another channel I've had paralleloquel as a suggestion. I quite like that.

share|improve this answer

If they share some of the same characters AND events wouldn't they cross or touch at some point? i.e wouldn't be parallel.

Maybe tangential might describe that better.

share|improve this answer
    
I see them as parallel and partially overlapping, as opposed to occasionally intersecting. –  Roy Jul 18 '12 at 7:28
    
@Roy how is partially overlapping different to occasionally intersecting? –  Matt Эллен Jul 18 '12 at 7:46
1  
I like "tangential" and I've seen it used. Sometimes it means something more akin to "branching" but often it means exactly what we have here. –  SilverbackNet Jul 18 '12 at 8:23
2  
@Matt: I failed to think of a way to describe the concept concisely with words, so if a plotline had a graphical representation, lh5.googleusercontent.com/-T1ZJv21Iu0s/UAaB3Sj5m2I/AAAAAAAAAXY/… –  Roy Jul 18 '12 at 9:30
    
@Roy Oh! Very good, then. :) –  Matt Эллен Jul 18 '12 at 9:43

Sometimes isochronous is used that way

share|improve this answer

I would say that "Ender's Shadow is contemporary with Ender's Game."

share|improve this answer
2  
Also: contemporaneous, depending on how one wants to phrase the statement. –  horatio Jul 18 '12 at 16:49
    
Contemporary, with respect to works, might imply they were written at similar times, and in this case, they are not. –  McKay Apr 23 '13 at 22:30
    
@McKay Technically correct. Which, of course, is the best type of correct to be. The word is still a good one, however, and to disambiguate, one might instead say that "The plot of Ender's Shadow is contemporary with that of Ender's Game." –  Kaz Dragon Apr 24 '13 at 6:55
    
@KazDragon Yeah, it might help to be more specific when using this word in this fashion, but it can work. –  McKay Apr 24 '13 at 13:53

Contemporaneous, contemporary.

Example: I've just read "Ender's Shadow". It's contemporaneous to "Ender's Game".

share|improve this answer

If we're considering synquel (mentioned by Dave M G), then another option is conquel. The only "official" reference for this that I know of is the ever-so-reputable Urban Dictionary, but that may be good enough for this purpose.

If we're coining our own and throwing scraps of Latin together, we might try coquel (basically same as conquel) or juxtaquel.

share|improve this answer
    
Changed my suggestion from synquel to paraquel. Putting aside trademark problems, paraquel seems to already be more established. –  Dave M G Jul 20 '12 at 10:25

Simultaneous adjective 1. existing, occurring, or operating at the same time; concurrent

share|improve this answer

"same setting" is a (probably colloquial) term that I've seen used to represent stories that occur concurrently and (mostly) separately.

I've just read "Ender's Shadow". It has the same setting as "Ender's Game".

share|improve this answer

protected by RegDwigнt Aug 7 '12 at 8:42

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.