As an author, I do my absolute best to create a world scenario so very close to the real one that the fiction can also appear real.
In fact, this comes up in many of my reviews, such as a recent Amazon comment: "Fast paced techno politico thriller. 10 stars. Chilling inclusion of current political events and realistic parallels. The AI escape is REAL!"
I do this intentionally because real is more terrifying than fiction and if I can succeed in blurring that line just enough, then your reader experience jumps up a notch with a jolt.
In SWARM, I paint a narcissistic, corrupt, authoritarian President with a back door to the Kremlin, who will do anything to stay in power. Now of course, I had incredible inspiration for that role. I chose that role model in part because of the intense emotion and controversy it would subconsciously bring to the reader experience.
Thankfully, reviewers seem to enjoy the blended reality, but they are not every voice.
What do YOU think? How real is too real when it comes to thriller fiction.