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Sliding Scale of Like Reality Unless Noted

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The sliding scale of Like Reality Unless Noted charts the degree to which a work of fiction set in what is ostensibly a "modern", Earthly environment departs from Real Life. It starts with the application of the Celebrity Paradox, through to such things as the fictional President and a half-way compromise with the Anonymous Ringer, through to literal Urban Fantasy and the exclusion of certain controversial subjects such as The War on Terror.

Compare Plausible Deniability. When a work starts low on the scale and then jumps, The Series Has Left Reality.


Alternate History

... which explicitly involves non-existent persons as major characters

Urban Fantasy

... ostensibly set in our timeline

Modern In Setting Only / Next Sunday A.D.

  • Battlefield 2
  • Command & Conquer: Generals
  • CSI
  • Doctor Who
  • Death Note
  • The DC Universe, despite having lots of superheroes, aliens and magical beings, mostly has had the same history as the real world... until recent times, when Lex Luthor was elected president of the United States. Also, while the events of 9-11 did happen, they paled in comparison with the more massive destruction caused by alien invasions at the time.


At this level, current events such as The War on Terror, the Darfur conflict or the Arab–Israeli Conflict may be referenced, but more contentious subjects such as present holders of office, diplomatic crises such as Iran's alleged nuclear capability or recent terrorist attacks will be carefully evaded through the use of Anonymous Ringers and Ripped from the Headlines stories. Closer to the softer end of this subcategory, the terrorists will tend to be Western.

Like Reality, Unless Noted

At this level, present-day events will be freely referenced and discussed, with the only real divergence from reality being the fictional storylines and characters involved.

Real-Person Fic

The only divergence will be the fictional events themselves. All or almost all major characters will be Historical Domain Characters, celebrities or real people.

Real Life

... and, by extension, all nonfiction.