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The opposite of a Wank, a Screw is when the author sets about utterly breaking a nation out of all proportion to how it could be broken.

A Screw tends to come in two distinct and separate varieties:

  • Breaking the mighty: What happens when preventing the rise of a historic Great Power goes too far, or for too long. America AIDS is a US-specific example; there are doubtless others like it.
  • Labor-Saving Convergence: Authors tend to be lazy (if they're doing it wrong) or overworked (if they're doing it right), and usually have a clearer idea about how an ATL will look at a given point in time than how it gets there. Because changing that end state usually entails an increase in workload, and often makes things unrecognizable, the same nations that wound up on the bottom of the heap in OTL will probably get Screwed to stay there in an ATL. Mexico Can't Into Space is a Mexico-specific example (although it's unusual for any Latin American country to do better than it did IOTL); there are doubtless others.