Dirty secret. I have an alternascope. Like magicians, science fiction writers don’t like to talk about craft secrets. The alternascope is like an rss reader set for alternative universes. We use them to start writing stories (see all DC and Marvel comics from the last 55 years) but mostly it’s fun to read headlines from other time lines. Like today regarding the tragic death (not release) of POW Sergeant Bergdahl.
“It’s sad the Obama administration dragged its feet and our last man in Afghanistan had to die there.” - Sen. Marco Rubio.
“We leave no one behind. No matter what.” - Sen. Saxby Chambliss.