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  • Alternate history or alternative reality is a genre of fiction consisting of stories that are set in worlds in which one or more historical events unfolds differently from how it did in this reality. It can be variously seen as a sub-genre of literary fiction, science fiction, and historical fiction; different alternate history works may use tropes from any or all of these genres. It is sometimes abbreviated AH. Another occasionally used term for the genre is "allohistory". See also Fictional universe. Since the 1950s, this type of fiction has to a large extent merged with science fictional tropes involving cross-time travel between alternate histories or psychic awareness of the existence of "our" universe by the people in another; or ordinary voyaging uptime or downtime that results in history splitting into two or more time-lines. Cross-time, time-splitting, and alternate history themes have become so closely interwoven that it is impossible to discuss them fully apart from one another.

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