Quotes: Acceptable Breaks from Reality

Ultimately, the goal in writing good fiction isn't "accuracy", it's believability. The goal is to take the more fantastical elements and give them a sense of verisimilitude. For science fiction, scientific accuracy in anything not hand waved for the good of the story is a good start. If you want to preserve the sense of being real, you have to diverge as little as possible in your hand waving.

Stromberg’s plan in The Spy Who Loved Me is to kidnap British and Russian submarines to start a war, why? Surely he’d be better off hunting American and Russian craft? Elliot Carver in Tomorrow Never Dies wants the story of the century about a war between China and the UK? Surely Britain is a little out of their league, here? A cynical person might call that inflated sense of importance a delusion, but that misses the key part of the trick... No nation in the world fears unilateral British military action, so Bond becomes a cute fantasy. If he were American, the connotations would be entirely different — the movies would be derided as puff and propaganda.