What separates good alternate history online from bad alternate history online (besides the usual literary qualities)? I think it’s whether or not the authors have a “not one step back” attitude.

Not whether or not they’re willing to defend their choices, but how willing they are to let implausibilities slide, to treat fiction like fiction instead of “This is my genius, so I’m offended that you’d attack my genius”.

This is why I liked a story called “Zhirinovsky’s Russian Empire” for all its flaws (including a contrived way of getting the title character into office in the first place), while the work in previous Bad Fiction Spotlights stood out for authors who stubbornly defended every last bit.

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