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12 July 2013 @ 09:06 pm
What-Iffy Category Definitions  

What-Iffy Category Definitions

On the House "What-If" Rec List we share some of our favorite House, M.D. fics, 'verses, and authors that form a genre we call "What-If."

In our review of the literature, several categories presented themselves. Stories range from wildly fantastical to essentially realistic, but all depart significantly from canon reality.

See also: Definitions of our Rec Reasons.



After Death/Afterlife
Dead character can interact with a live one — as a ghost, in dreams/unconscious, etc. Or, a character experiences life on another plane after (or near) his own death.

Allegory
"Hey! I do the metaphors." —House in 2x12 'Distractions'

Alternate Governance
Modern America has slaves, theocracy, totalitarian state, etc.

Alternate Personal History
Canon character with a different past. Or, character chose a different path or profession than in canon — and thus never became our canon character at all.

Alternate Time Period
Takes place in a different era/decade/century.

Alternate World History
Things turned out a bit (or a lot) differently than we're used to — crops, foods, customs, exports/imports, costs, transportation, technology, population, country/colony, etc.

Amnesiac Odyssey
Amnesia stories where a character must build a life for himself based on whatever he has to go on.

Apocalypse
How our heroes cope, post- (or during) apocalypse. Can be more realistic (e.g., epidemic, bomb) or horror (e.g., zombies, creature invasion).

Creatures/Mythical Beings
Story includes entities such as vampires, mermaids, werewolves, and so on.

Crossover Elements
Crossover with, or draws concepts from, another fandom or fic 'verse — usually one with supernatural/what-iffy elements in its canon.

Deity Chat
Character talks with a deity, the devil, or some other kind of supreme being. Some of these are also Wishful Thinking fics.

Human Variation
Some people naturally have wings or a tail, for example. Also applies to 'verses where all humans are somehow biologically different than in our reality.

Life-Altering Events
…with profound consequences. Contractverse, brainwashing, serious injury, disability, etc. Many of these are also Recovery Fics.

Magical Realism
Magic happens in a very recognizable context. In some stories, this may include overt manifestation of religious, mystic and/or folkloric elements.
Type 1: Magic is real and/or normal in this 'verse, not crack.
Type 2: Magic happens as a plot device ("She put a spell on me — but that's impossible!")

Parallel Universe
Character enters an alternate universe, or deduces that there is one. Can be an original AU, or an existing fic 'verse/fanon.

Powers
Superpowers, prophetic dreams, etc. Can be acquired or inherent.

Recovery Fic
Chronicles healing in the aftermath of a life-altering event, usually involving serious injury or psychological trauma.

Science Fiction
More classic sci-fi elements — character as an android, space travel/aliens, time travel, etc.

Transmogrification
Turned into a ___ (kid, animal, vampire, etc.). Also includes bodyswap and genderswap.

Wishful Thinking
Wish I'd never been born/met House/had muscles removed; wish my best friend weren't dying. Character tries to alter the past to change his present, or makes a deal to change the future.