The Man In The High Castle has made me start thinking about other counter-factual storylines that would make us examine the world around us differently. There are lots of events in history that easily could have turned out differently; in the case of this show, who won World War II and who controlled North America. So, what if the Soviets had won the Cold War or if Gore had won the 2000 election?
There's something intriguing about wrestling with what-ifs, especially when the turning point that's changed is believable. By extrapolating events that never came to fruition, the author can create a world that's highly realistic, while carefully contrasting outcomes with facts we've come to take for granted. It's easy to focus on the outcomes of historical events, but often the context that made them possible is just as interesting.