alternative reality n.

= alternate world n.

SF Criticism


  • 1941 A. Bester Probable Man in Astounding Science Fiction July 88/1 page image Alfred Bester bibliography

    In 2941 when you started your journey through Time, you were a reality. In 1941 you were a reality. But now, back in 2941, you’re an alternative reality existing in the wrong alternate.

  • 1980 Dragon May 3/2

    Designers create their own reality with such games, and a better test is how true the designer has been to the alternative reality set forth in his game.

  • 1981 R. A. Wilson Schrödinger's Cat II: Trick Top Hat (rear cover)

    Prepare to Enter Alternative Reality! Or so it seemed at times, to Joe Malik, last of the Red Hot Liberals and editor of Confrontation magazine.

  • 1990 Thrust Winter 7/3

    Bishop…dares to introduce sick unicorns from an alternative reality into our contemporary world of AIDS.

  • 1992 S. M. Stirling Snowbrother xi. 208 S. M. Stirling

    He moved in a peculiar and wholly nonphysical way that left the Essence of the scene closer to his sight. His own Symbol stood clear: that of the girl, a human destroyed; the network of the spell binding them together. The alternative reality he had constructed was there, potential, but still vanishingly unlikely. Still, anything was possible; knowing that was one of the keys of this art. Perception could alter probability.

  • 1994 P. Anderson Stars are also Fire 97 Poul Anderson bibliography

    When reaction to the War Strike doomed mighty Fireball, the end of separatist Luna was in sight, however long a delaying campaign Niolente and her cohorts might wage. Yet, in some hypothetical quantum-mechanical alternative reality—

  • 2001 L. N. Smith Amer. Zone x. 122

    ‘But, after all,’ she said, ‘we were the first to poke our noses into worlds of probability, and we are making an attempt to keep an orderly record of the more than eleven thousand alternative realities that have been discovered here and by other investigators so far.’

Research requirements

antedating 1941

Earliest cite

Alfred Bester, 'The Probable Man'

Research History
Malcolm Farmer submitted a 1981 cite from Robert Anton Wilson's "Schrödinger's Cat II: The Trick Top Hat". Enoch Forrester submitted a 1980 cite from a letter by Tom Holsinger in The Dragon. Mike Christie submitted a 1941 cite from Alfred Bester's "The Probable Man". Malcolm Farmer submitted a 1995 cite from a reprint of Poul Anderson's 1995 "The Stars Are Also Fire". Douglas Winston submitted a 2001 cite from L. Neil Smith's "The American Zone". Douglas Winston submitted a 1992 cite from S. M. Stirling's "Snowbrother".

Last modified 2020-12-16 04:08:47
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.