History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Unfixed Timelines Stories and Essays

| August 30, 2018

There’s a part of me that still misses academia. When you spend a large chunk of your adult life in an environment, it’s bound to leave some lasting marks on you. I didn’t love teaching, and I wouldn’t have loved the rat race that is tenure, but I liked research and writing and being adjacent […]

“Parcel Post” in Frostfire Worlds

| August 14, 2018

The August 2018 issue of Frostfire Worlds includes my story, “Parcel Post.” Frostfire Worlds is a magazine of stories for kids, and in my case, my story is also about kids. The idea for “Parcel Post” started with the fun fact that in the early twentieth century (roughly around 1913), you could mail small children. Sort of. […]

Unfixed Timelines

| June 12, 2018

I’ve been doing more historical research at work recently, which typically means that I’ll likely come up with an idea for another alternate history story in the near future. I’ve written a total of 10 alternate history stories, roughly 18% of the stories I’ve written (and that doesn’t include my three Cobalt City stories that […]

Review of Long Hidden

| April 18, 2018

It’s been on my to-read list for quite some time, but I finally have read and reviewed Long Hidden, edited by Rose Fox and Daniel José Older. It’s an anthology of 27 alternate history speculative fiction stories featuring marginalized characters. If you’re curious to see what I thought of it, check out my review at Mad Scientist Journal!

Historical Fiction

| January 30, 2018

At Rustycon, I was on a couple of panels about historical fiction or using history for writing and gaming ideas. We talked about interesting historical fiction we’d read and written, as well as ways of using history to come up with neat story or gaming ideas. If it wasn’t already apparent from the name of […]

Review of Full Throttle by Jon Hartless

| January 3, 2018

My first book review of 2018 is up at Mad Scientist Journal. Today, I’m reviewing Full Throttle by Jon Hartless, which is a steampunk/dieselpunk competitive car racing novel, set in an alternate Edwardian era. If that sounds like a lot of different things, it most certainly is, but it weaves them all together, along with social […]

Review of The Adventure of the Incognita Countess

| November 22, 2017

My latest book review is up at Mad Scientist Journal, this time for a fun short novel featuring characters from throughout Victorian-era literature, along with the daughter of Mina (Murray) Harker and Count Dracula. To no one’s surprise, I was really excited to get to review this book. And it turned out to be a quick, […]

Superheroes in Other Times

| November 14, 2017

The first Cobalt City story I ever wrote (which was also the second story I wrote) was a late nineteenth-century look at one of Cobalt City’s legacy superheroes, The Huntsman. Since then, I’ve written another story of The Huntsman that takes place after World War II. Because The Huntsman is a legacy hero, it’s super […]

Review of Everfair

| September 20, 2017

My latest review for Mad Scientist Journal is for Nisi Shawl’s Everfair, a fascinating alternate history steampunk-fantasy look at a nation forged from the defeat of King Leopold in the Congo in the late nineteenth century. This book really appealed to me as a historian and a steampunk author! If you’re interested in learning more about it […]

Research for Alternate History Stories

| June 12, 2017

Because my background is in history, I wind up writing a lot more alternate history stories than anything else. I collected five of these to make Unfixed Timelines recently. But writing alternate history means doing some research, and it’s a different sort of research than authors do if they’re writing other types of stories. If […]