Speculative fiction that is fiction describing a different present or future based on an event happening differently in the timeline than it did in our present reality must be based on something that is believable and within the realm of the possible.
Much speculative fiction focuses on World War II and what would have happened had Hitler won. History is not that fragile there are many reasons why Hitler could not have won WWII not one singular event. For one he was a terrible military leader.
A trend seen lately most recently in the just released novel FLASHBACK by Dan Simmons is the theory that a passive world in the present will result in a future where the planet is dominated by an Islamic caliphate.
Islam is the new communism but purveyors of sinister Muslim memes are even more ignorant than Cold War anti-communists.
The Muslim domination scenario is ridiculous for one reason predominantly. This theory assumes a level of cooperation, a level of uniformity in Islam, in countries that practice Islam and in the different denominations of Islam itself, that doesn’t exist.
There are different denominations of Muslims just as there are Christians. Sunnis hate Shiites and vice versa in some places like Iraq they kill each other. The divisions within Islam are increasing not decreasing. Islam is ripe for a reformation which I feel is coming.
Therefore, the idea of a global conspiracy, which in these books always results in an extreme form of Sharia Law governance similar to the Taliban in Afghanistan, is nonsense.
This hysteria is part and parcel of the growing anti-Islam bigotry in the west. We saw in Norway this last week what happens when this is allowed to fester even in a country with a reputation for openness and progressive values.
Now if one wanted to write a realistic Dysotopian novel about the future I would suggest this scenario – America is now ruled by big corporations that now run everything including debtor’s prisons where they use legal tricks to enslave people in sweat shops – Now that I could imagine!