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Have you read the book 'On the way to a smile' it's based on events hust after the game and just before AC. It talks about how both sephiroth and aerith are in the life stream. Sephiroth is trying to get back to the living but aerith is fighting to keep the world safe from the lifestream. You should really read this! Basically explains everything you just said!
Yeah, a couple.
This one is canon: https://www.amazon.com/Final-Fantasy-VII-Way-Smile/dp/1975382358
There's also "The Maiden Who Travels the Planet: Final Fantasy VII" and "Final Fantasy VII: The Kids Are Alright: A Turks Side Story" (this should be canon as well)
Didn't On the Way to a Smile receive an official English translation last year? Here it is on Amazon. Note: The hardcover version is only available in French, but the paperback is English.
THIS is canon
This guy complaining about not understanding basic concepts while actively omitting information that shoots down his narrative from Nojima himself.
Pot, meet kettle.
You love cherry picking, but ignore the elephant in the room
It's cool dude, I've done more research than you. :)
Amazon has it in physical format.
Are you interested in Final Fantasy novels? There are a few that tie in to 7.
On the way to a smile takes place before Advent Children and after the OG 7. It is a collection of short stories.
There is another one called The Kids are all right: a Turks side story. It is another Advent Children prequel that takes place after 7.
If you are interested in Manga, there is a series called Final Fantasy: Lost stranger that follows two Squenix employees who end up in an FF like world. It is typical fantasy style with dozens of references to the series. I really enjoy its humor and charm.
I hoped I helped a bit. If you need anything else just ask!
It's really a hit or miss, and Yen Press takes forever to release translated novels/manga. So after the waiting period it goes back to my first point.
Here is the review from their latest FF7 novel translation - https://www.amazon.com/Final-Fantasy-VII-Way-Smile/dp/1975382358#customerReviews - The one by Rosey G has been found to be the most helpful.