What I mean by alternate earths is taking current day earth geology, and then applying different realities to it.

For example

  • a geographically identical earth but with a machine based civilization
  • post apocalyptic earth
  • zombie apocalypse earth

1 Answer 1


I would say yes, as long as it pertains to the world building (and thus is a fit for the site's scope in the first place).

The site is defined in Area51 as

[a] Q&A site for writers/artists using science, geography and culture to construct imaginary worlds and settings".*

I see nothing there that would suggest that only non-Earth worlds and settings should be allowed.

There are several questions on the Area51 proposal which are fairly highly voted and more or less explicitly deal with humans or our Earth. For example:

Also, lots of fiction works take place in worlds that greatly resemble our world and society, with anywhere from trivial to fairly large differences. We wouldn't want to bar those questions here.

  • $\begingroup$ That's what I figured, but the construct imaginary worlds and settings was what got me. I wasn't sure if that barred earth settings, so i just wanted to be completely clear. $\endgroup$
    – user39
    Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 19:47
  • $\begingroup$ @ton.yeung I feel "construct imaginary worlds and settings" ought to be read as "construct imaginary [worlds] and [settings]", not "construct imaginary [worlds and settings]". Note where the "and" goes. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Commented Sep 17, 2014 at 10:53
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ It's still an imaginary world even if it started from a real one. James Bond is still imaginary even though spies, MI5, etc all exist. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Commented Sep 17, 2014 at 11:06
  • $\begingroup$ @TimB That's pretty much what I am (meant to be) getting at with my final paragraph. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Commented Sep 17, 2014 at 11:30
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I was agreeing with you - although I see my comment wasn't very clear about that. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Commented Sep 17, 2014 at 11:53
  • $\begingroup$ I definitely agree that "construct imaginary worlds" doesn't mean you are required to build them from scratch. World building can be building from whatever starting level you choose. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 17, 2014 at 21:16
  • $\begingroup$ We even have two tags that are 'alternate-*', might be worth adding? $\endgroup$
    – Mourdos
    Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 10:17

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