Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake
jaylake

[writing] Alternate alternate histories

I had dinner with garyomaha and elusivem tonight. Among other things, we were talking about "America, Such as She Is", my current work in progress. I was describing the backstory, a United States defeated in WWII by joint German and Japanese atomic bombings intended to force surrender ahead of a very costly invasion. garyomaha asked what was science fictional about it.

He has a point, I realized after a moment's thought. To me, Alternate History is science fiction because everyone knows AH is SF. I've written a fair number of AH shorts ("The Cleansing Fire of God," "The Righteous Path", "Our Lady of American Sorrows"). I've always thought of them as SF, but I've never thought carefully about why they're SF.

In other words, I don't have a more rigorous realization than "because." Why couldn't AH simply be it's own genre? Is it inherently science fictional?
Tags: omaha, process, stories, writing
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