Most written chronicles of history, and most speculative stories, put rulers, conquerors, and invaders front and center. People with less power, money, or status—enslaved people, indigenous people, people of color, queer people, laborers, women, people with disabilities, the very young and very old, and religious minorities, among others—are relegated to the margins. Today, mainstream history continues to perpetuate one-sided versions of the past while mistelling or erasing the stories of the rest of the world.
There is a long and honorable legacy of literary resistance to erasure. This anthology partakes of that legacy. It will feature stories from the margins of speculative history, each taking place between 1400 and the early 1900s and putting a speculative twist—an element of science fiction, fantasy, horror, or the unclassifiably strange—on real past events.
Thanks to the success of our Kickstarter campaign, Long Hidden includes 27 stories, totaling about 154,000 words. The anthology is now available in trade paperback and DRM-free digital formats. There will be author readings at Wiscon (May) and ReaderCon (July).
Our splendid cover art by Julie Dillon:
Our table of contents:
Sofia Samatar – “Ogres of East Africa”
Thoraiya Dyer – “The Oud”
Tananarive Due – “Free Jim’s Mine”
S. Lynn – “Ffydd (Faith)”
Sunny Moraine – “Across the Seam”
Rion Amilcar Scott – “Numbers”
Meg Jayanth – “Each Part Without Mercy”
Claire Humphrey – “The Witch of Tarup”
L.S. Johnson – “Marigolds”
Robert William Iveniuk – “Diyu”
Jamey Hatley – “Collected Likenesses”
Michael Janairo – “Angela and the Scar”
Benjamin Parzybok – “The Colts”
Kima Jones – “Nine”
Christina Lynch – “The Heart and the Feather”
Troy L. Wiggins – “A Score of Roses”
Nghi Vo – “Neither Witch Nor Fairy”
David Fuller – “A Deeper Echo”
Ken Liu – “Knotting Grass, Holding Ring”
Kemba Banton – “Jooni”
Sarah Pinsker – “There Will Be One Vacant Chair”
Nnedi Okorafor – “It’s War”
Shanaé Brown – “Find Me Unafraid”
Nicolette Barischoff – “A Wedding in Hungry Days”
Lisa Bolekaja – “Medu”
Victor LaValle – “Lone Women”
Sabrina Vourvoulias – “The Dance of the White Demons”
Why tell stories from the margins of history?
- We want to take a step toward righting an injustice that goes back to the dawn of time: some types of people are deemed more worthy of protagonist roles than others. We believe that all people are the heroes of their own stories.
- We want to provide solidly grounded historical fiction to modern readers, who may have only encountered myths, fragments, or garbled notions of how marginalized people lived (and died) in past times—or may never have learned anything about those people at all.
- By foregrounding marginalized people from the past, we hope to amplify marginalized voices in the present. Every story will make a statement that these voices deserve to be heard, and these stories are worth telling and reading.
Why make them speculative stories?
- We want to reclaim speculative literature. Science fiction, fantasy, and horror writers frequently spin tales of intrepid conquerors and feuding kingdoms that have their roots in real-world history of invasion and oppression. This perpetuates the idea that certain people are unfit for heroism, and leaves many speculative fiction fans longing for protagonists they can identify with and stories that recall their own personal and family histories. Those fans deserve a book like this.
- Speculative fiction is what we know best: Crossed Genres publishes speculative fiction, Daniel writes it, and Rose edits and reviews it. We’re passionate fans of genre fiction. And like anyone who puts together an anthology, at heart we’re simply looking for the kinds of stories we’ve always wanted to read. Our hope and belief is that you’ll be as excited by this anthology, and as eager to read it, as we are.