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Alternate History Books   >   Glossary   >   Alien Space Bats

   
 

Alien Space Bats


Alien Space Bats ("ASBs") are a mythical alien species that are said to intervene in human affairs, triggering alternate histories which, save for their intervention, might be considered to be lacking in plausibility. The term appears to have been originally coined by Alison Brooks, who was a regular contributor to the soc.history.what-if (alternate history) newsgroup, and is still popular in alternate history online discussion forums and newsgroups.

The term may be used in two different ways:
  1. In a sarcastic fashion - by an author who considers a particular scenario to be lacking in plausibility.

    Example: "Do you realize how weak the German navy was in 1940, and how unprepared the Germans were to invade England? A successful Operation Sealion - that's Alien Space Bats!"

  2. To propose alternate history scenarios for discussion without having to worry about having to come up with a plausible point of departure.

    Example: "What if Alien Space Bats gave the Confederacy a fleet of helicopter gunships in 1862?"
"Alien Space Bats" is often abbreviated (particularly in newsgroups and discussion forums) as "ASBs".

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