Human history is fascinating, but as a lesbian I sometimes find books on the subject personally alienating. Too often the representation of queer communities is confined to either a rehash of oppression or the complete erasure of queer stories. (This experience is often magnified for queer People of Color and people with a disability.)
Part of the reason that I wrote the stories in my new collection, The Long Past & Other Stories, was the desire to literally re-write history. For me, the beauty of alternate history, particularly in the form of steampunk, is that it offers historically marginalized people the opportunity to reshape “what has been” into triumphs of “what could be.” We can embrace the romance, adventure and sense of discovery that historical settings offer but on our own terms. Today I celebrate an amazing bunch of other writers who’ve crafted compelling, glorious and inclusive alternate histories for themselves and for the rest of us. I wish I had pages and pages to share all the amazing works that have been published recently. But for the moment I’ll limit myself to my favorite five.