The Alien Space Bats - the notorious ASBs - are creatures that make possible things that would be implausible in our timeline.
For example, Alien Space Bats might have mind control powers to make leaders (and their advisors, staff, and followers) make decisions they would have never made otherwise. They can swap people, territories and objects (including you) between places at a given time, or even across time. (For example, in Island in the Sea Of Time they send the contemporary island of Nantucket hundreds of years into the past.) They might even insert your mind into the body of a historical figure (as in you wake up as Napoleon the day before Waterloo).
The use of ASBs in alternate history can be controversial. Some writers use them on purpose, adding science fiction or fantasy elements, or intentionally making unrealistic mashups of different eras. However, some AH projects use Alien Space Bats out of ignorance or naïveté. Things happen unrealistically because the writer has not put in the work to understand the era that they are working with. These unintentionally ASB timelines are generally looked down upon.
We have the following categories of ASB timelines on this wiki:
- ASB - Aliens - Visitors from other worlds change Earth's history.
- ASB - Biased - The timeline shows a strong bias in favor or against specific nations or individuals.
- ASB - Diseases - A disease gets implausibly out of control. Zombie-creating viruses are in a separate category.
- ASB - Environmental - Settings that make changes to the environment, geography, or geology of Earth. These timelines may identify an event that sparked the change, or they may just have a different world with no explanation given.
- ASB - ISOT - Named after the book, Island in the Sea Of Time, these timelines use Alien Space Bats to take a person, group, nation, island, anything else and drop them into their past or their future.
- ASB - Magic - Supernatural forces change Earth's history.
- ASB - Map Games - Map Games premised on Alien Space Bats of whatever type.
- ASB - Miscellaneous - The Alien Space Bats do things that don't fit the other categories.
- ASB - Monsters - Vampires and werewolves and other horror-themed creatures change Earth's history. (Zombies have their own category.)
- ASB - Multiverses - People are able to travel between different timelines and dimensions.
- ASB - Random - This category is for completely random events or decisions that change history in unrealistic ways.
- ASB - Species - Other sentient species live on Earth and change its history, not counting monsters or zombies (which have their own categories).
- ASB - Superheroes - Humans have special powers and abilities.
- ASB - Technology - Technology develops in unrealistic directions.
- ASB - Time Travel - People go backward or forward in time and change history. (Keep in mind that Future History is Not Alt-History, so nothing on this wiki can be set in our future.)
- ASB - Wars - Wars play out in impossible ways. Operation Sealion is the ASB war scenario par excellence.
- ASB - Zombies - Undead creatures lurch through Earth's history.
A few notable examples of ASB timelines: