Main Alternate History Wank Discussion

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12:46:30 PM Oct 21st 2012
edited by norsicnumber2nd
Maybe you're unaware of what 'wank' is in Britain, but, er, can it change. This I've seen a few times in YKKTW (and American media also for view of the British), a word that either means nothing or is just a general word like banana to Yanks but disturbs or sickens us here on t'other side o't'pond.
04:09:49 PM Oct 22nd 2012
Wank, in North American usage, means "something (metaphorically) masturbatory," and is used to describe pointless, self-indulgent behavior. Fanwank is masturbatory fan behavior, history wank is self-indulgent cheerleading of a historical faction, ect. We know what it means in the Commonwealth.
01:53:31 PM Dec 1st 2013
I'd like to apologise for my fellow Brit with his/her condescending attitude to the rest of the world, particularly America. I'm afraid many British people live in a state of "Britain Is Obviously Superior To Those Poor Americans" Wank.

And I hadn't realised the word 'wank' "disturbs or sickens us". I guess it comes with the territory to assume you can speak for all English/British people. As the British saying goes, what a load of wank.
02:56:28 PM May 12th 2010
re: cutlist

This seems like The Same but More of Alternate History.
05:07:34 PM May 12th 2010
No, it is not. Alternate History Wank isn't history that's more alternate. Alternate History Wank is an alternate history in which the Butterfly of Doom leads to a Marysuetopia (any type) or a God-Mode Sue.

You can have an alternate history whose point of divergence is caused by "alien space bats", and still have it be realistic given all that. You can have an alternate history with a perfectly reasonable butterfly event which still seems implausible because one of the major parties is successfully pulling Xanatos Roulettes; that second is what makes it wank.

As for examples — I can name at least one.
07:25:33 PM May 12th 2010
I meant The Same but More Specific. Brain was in autopilot.
08:40:06 PM May 12th 2010
I've added one example, and as soon as I search the bookshelves I'll have another series to add. This is an element of Alternate history — not all AH stories include it, so yes, in a way I suppose you could say it's "more specific." Many tropes are "But More Specific" if you choose to look at them that way.
09:18:57 PM May 12th 2010
True. Alternate History is essentially a genre not a trope so The Same but More Specific shouldn't apply.
09:36:39 PM May 12th 2010
<nods> I added the example I had in mind, as it is infamous. I also removed a proposed definition — the Sliding Scale of Plausibility that had been referred to in that definition is orthogonal to this.

Just as you can have a naturalistic-looking TV series (one that is set in a world like our own) with a Canon Sue in it, you can have a timeline that starts with a reasonable-looking point of departure but ends up as this. Heck, the one could be an example of the other, depending on how loosely you define Alternate History.

And it is possible to have an even-handed timeline founded by Alien Space Bats, for the same reason you can have a series like Firefly. Difficult, but possible.
04:59:27 AM May 13th 2010
I set up a YKTTW entry for the page. If it's strong in fandom then people may be able to scrounge up a few and I'm guessing there is probably a number of lit. examples out there in the pulp.
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