To celebrate the release of Lawrence Hogue's Daring and Decorum, August's theme is historical fiction.
It can be tempting to think that Regency-style novels with LGBT+ protagonists are a modern-day fantasy. To a degree, there's some truth to it, but no more than the fantasy found in heterosexual Regency-themed work. LGBT+ people have always existed and will continue to exist as long as humans do. Cultural taboos have existed in different forms across the eras, and playing with forbidden love isn't exclusive to queer lit.
What is a more modern convention, both in LGBT+ stories and in straight romance, is giving women full claim on their sexuality and sensuality. Of course, there have always been people breaking that convention too, but these days, it's much more open.
Historical fiction sometimes remains firmly rooted in reality, and that can have a much darker feel. There may still be a hopeful-ever-after or a happy-for-now ending, but there's often much more pain along the way. Many people enjoy these works, though they tend to be literary rather than romance.
On the flip side, sometimes historical fiction is a way to escape the ongoing trials of modern life, especially in the current political climate. We'd like to believe that it's possible to escape the social pressures we're all under. This includes writing historical fiction that keeps some measure of realism while also giving us a bit of fun on the journey and the ultimate happily-ever-after fantasy.
Both of those types of historical fiction are primarily grounded in the real world. But there are stories that cross into speculative fiction as well. Steampunk, science fiction, and fantasy can all be placed in the past. They can keep historical realism like literary fiction, or they can play with the same elements found in Regency romance.
What type of historical fiction do you like? Do you read it all? Or do you prefer one type over another? Check out our growing collection of historical fiction. Guaranteed you'll find something to love.