I’m imagining contextual details in a fantasy fiction setting like technical drawings of alien plants, diagrams of demon physiology, guidelines for communicating with inter dimensional beings. I suppose you see it a lot with occult fiction (finding information in dense intricate tomes,performing precise rituals, etc) and in fantasy where the author establishes realism by conceiving of the types of things you might find in a scholar’s library in that setting.

Is there a general term for that type of documentation of a certain lore, mythos, or any body of knowledge (whether or not connoting fictional contents)? “Marginalia” has the spirit of what I’m imagining.

  • The word would be the same in the real world as a fictional setting. The generalized term is “the literature”.
    – Dan Bron
    Sep 17, 2022 at 1:00
  • A well-known example of fictional documentation is the Necronomicon, which was a fictional grimoire in stories by H. P. Lovecraft and others. Other examples are Isaac Asimov's Encyclopedia Galactica and J.R.R. Tolkien's Red Book. To refer to something as "a Necronomicon" (or similar) would be to describe it as a fictional work of that type.
    – Peter
    Sep 17, 2022 at 2:45
  • Codex might work for you. Sep 17, 2022 at 2:45
  • 1
    I think you need to be a bit more specific: what kind of content in what kind of format. There's a wide range of stuff you might be talking about: fake maps, narratives of imaginary mythology/religion/history, constructed languages, imaginary scientific explanations (e.g. James Blish's explanation of the spindizzy), actual fake documents (books, letters, texts etc) that exist as physical objects, constructed spaces/installations (whether created for photographs, movies, exhibitions, or just to help creation), fake artefacts (of the sort sometimes sold as collectibles), ...
    – Stuart F
    Sep 17, 2022 at 11:03
  • If 'marginalia' has the spirit of what your imagining then I, for one, fail to understand anything beyond that. Can you rephrase the exposition, if not the Question? Sep 20, 2022 at 22:36

1 Answer 1


Generally "world" or "universe" is suffixed to another word in your case scenario. e.g. "alien-world", "world-of-warcraft", "JRR Tolkien Universe", "MCU(Marvel comic universe)".

I am imagining you are searching for a term which is a general term for these fictional worlds/universes. Supposing XXXX is such a word, and you can say the following sentences

  • JRR Tolkien created XXXX
  • Marvel franchise created XXXX

A few candidate words are out there

  • Altverse(Verse and Dimensions Wikia) (Alternate Universe)(Even in a created world universe, it may be an alternate version of the canonical (so to say) version and can be used for both)
  • Converse(Converse Wiki) (Constructed Universe)(It does not help that 1. converse is an actual word with a different meaning, 2. Converse is a well known apparel, sports brand)(Hyphenated Con-Verse may be usable)
  • Conworld or Con-world(Wiktionary) (Constructed World)(Has entered dictionaries)
  • paracosm(Wiktionary) (May not serve your purpose)
  • Fiction/al world/universe are also acceptable.

Conlang(Wiktionary) is constructed language, conculture(Wiktionary) is constructed culture.

  • That's quite logical in itself and don't you think it wholly side-steps the Question? Aren't those examples all specific instances rather than general terms? Aren't they pretty-much individual cases as opposed to generic terms? Sep 25, 2022 at 23:03
  • Kindly look at comment by Stuart F to OP. Also look at OP and other comments there. I think my answer is specific enough. For single word requests OP needs to provide an example sentence and explain enough his requirements from the word/phrase and include research done by him/her.
    – banuyayi
    Sep 26, 2022 at 5:14
  • The point is not that your Answer is specific enough, but that it is purely specific when the Question clearly sought a generic term. I say again, your Answer is logical in itself and I ask again, don't you think it wholly side-steps the Question? How does that last Comment stop any of your examples being not general terms but specific instances? individual cases as opposed to anything broadly applicable to many, if not most cases? Sep 26, 2022 at 18:41
  • Please be more specific. Why do you think I'm sidestepping the question? According to you what is the question?
    – banuyayi
    Sep 26, 2022 at 20:36
  • Please edit your answer so that it follows our Help Center's guidance on how to reference work by others. We are not a link farm, and a bare unattributed link does no one any good. Our reuse licence allows for plain-text reuse, and so the link would be lost if not given in actual text.
    – tchrist
    Sep 27, 2022 at 14:57

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