Using Real-life / Historical events and Country Names
Question: I'm making a story about a time-machine. Can I use an event from 'history books' and somewhat change it's outcome? (eg: Saving JFK in his assassination plot)
And if using historical events will be a big problem, is it good to use a fictional historical event? (EG: in 1834, North Korea had a big earthquake, etc) Is it also okay to use a nation / race in the book (eg: China produced a new product that will...)Answer:
You are free to use historical events, so long as all the people are now dead. You just have to be careful not to libel any living person (though certain public figures are fair game, otherwise Saturday Night Live
and other comedy programs could not stay on the air).
For instance, Phillip K. Dick wrote a highly regarded science fiction novel about how the world might have been if Germany and Japan had won World War II. Alternate histories like this are now quite common in fiction.