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Dates! An Anthology of Queer Historical Fiction Stories

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Dates is an anthology of queer historical fiction stories. Together the authors gathered over 30 creators together to create almost 30 stories and illustrations about queer people living life throughout time and across the world. Dates has over 170 pages of brand new content with beautiful full-color comic covers and illustrations, black and white comic pages, and even two Dates is an anthology of queer historical fiction stories. Together the authors gathered over 30 creators together to create almost 30 stories and illustrations about queer people living life throughout time and across the world. Dates has over 170 pages of brand new content with beautiful full-color comic covers and illustrations, black and white comic pages, and even two short prose stories! Logo by Leigh Luna


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Dates is an anthology of queer historical fiction stories. Together the authors gathered over 30 creators together to create almost 30 stories and illustrations about queer people living life throughout time and across the world. Dates has over 170 pages of brand new content with beautiful full-color comic covers and illustrations, black and white comic pages, and even two Dates is an anthology of queer historical fiction stories. Together the authors gathered over 30 creators together to create almost 30 stories and illustrations about queer people living life throughout time and across the world. Dates has over 170 pages of brand new content with beautiful full-color comic covers and illustrations, black and white comic pages, and even two short prose stories! Logo by Leigh Luna

30 review for Dates! An Anthology of Queer Historical Fiction Stories

  1. 3 out of 5

    Shira Glassman

    The stories in the Dates graphic fiction anthology are all super-short, so they're perfect for little moments when you need a bite of LGBTQ+ positivity in the middle of your day like a one-bite chocolate out of the candy dish on your grandma's coffee table. Major kudos for the editors for handpicking a selection of tiny stories that are not only diverse within the LGBTQ+ umbrella (there's f/f, m/m, trans m/f, at least three nonbinary stories, and asexual Tesla) but also diverse in time period and The stories in the Dates graphic fiction anthology are all super-short, so they're perfect for little moments when you need a bite of LGBTQ+ positivity in the middle of your day like a one-bite chocolate out of the candy dish on your grandma's coffee table. Major kudos for the editors for handpicking a selection of tiny stories that are not only diverse within the LGBTQ+ umbrella (there's f/f, m/m, trans m/f, at least three nonbinary stories, and asexual Tesla) but also diverse in time period and geographical setting. I have to confess I read this a week ago and I still have not stopped squeeing over the two Jewish ones--two!--and of course naturally they had the good sense that neither one of them is, well, you know. But it's not just us cavorting in there -- we also get to visit Korea (twice, and both about acrobats), the Norse folk, the Romans, Ye Olde Renaissance Italy, South America, the Soviet Union, the Old West, both African-American rural women and wealthy nightclub men in the 1920's (the one with the Black ladies, "Lulu and Diana", was one of my favorites!) and of course no historical romance anything would be complete without its Regency representation. Of course. Oh, and did I mention it stars with cave-lesbians in the Paleolithic-or-whatever? With no speech bubbles, which makes total sense to me and made me audibly squee IRL? I love this anthology. What truly frustrates me about this anthology is that when holding it in my hands I want to buy copies for thousands of people. I get this urge to want to wallpaper the world with things like this, and Fierce Family, and other grab-bags of expertly chosen LGBTQ+ vignettes. What's treasuresome about books like these two is that they're dozens of queer happy endings at a time. That's why I want to drop piles of them in people's laps. I just know how many people out there want this, and don't know it exists, and that frustrates me. I'll do what I can to signal boost. Here's the link to the digital version; I bought it in paperback with the kickstarter. Treat yourself. Buy the grab-bag, or buy it for yourself and a friend. We're overdue. While history may not have always been kind to us, it wasn't a 24-7 vale of tears and woe and we deserve to be able to enjoy all the exciting settings cis, straight people enjoy, celebrate the history of our own groups and enjoy writers celebrating their own histories. Now I'm going to go read the Jewish ones again BECAUSE REASONS.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Miri

    I straight-up cried my way through this entire book. That's how powerful it was to see people like me and my friends and partners finally represented WITHOUT ANYONE DYING AT THE END. (Yes, that was actually one of their guidelines for submissions: no Tragic Queer narratives. How awesome is that?) If you're queer, read this to maybe start to heal a little bit. If you're not, read it anyway.

  3. 4 out of 5

    charlotte

    3.5 because it was cute but not always high quality my favourites were anonymously yours, contrapposto, deep breathing, the tiger and the tumbler, cast off, marie by the sea, and punch drunk love

  4. 5 out of 5

    CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian

    Sadly this anthology was pretty disappointing. Some of the art, especially the full page colour introductions to a few pieces, was lovely, but the stories themselves...weren't really stories? The majority of them didn't have a narrative and a few of them I just plain didn't understand what was happening. I admire the impulse to have happy queer historical fiction, but that doesn't mean there shouldn't be narrative tension!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tiamatty

    This is great. It's a bunch of short stories from throughout history, with positive depictions of LGBTQ+ (queer) characters. A key point is that the stories are positive. There's no one being killed or hurt, there are no stories where two people in love are forced apart, nothing like that. These stories aren't about how hard it's historically been to be queer. It's just historical fiction with queer protagonists, and that's wonderful. I'm straight, myself, but I'm a supporter of diversity, which This is great. It's a bunch of short stories from throughout history, with positive depictions of LGBTQ+ (queer) characters. A key point is that the stories are positive. There's no one being killed or hurt, there are no stories where two people in love are forced apart, nothing like that. These stories aren't about how hard it's historically been to be queer. It's just historical fiction with queer protagonists, and that's wonderful. I'm straight, myself, but I'm a supporter of diversity, which is why I backed the Kickstarter for this book. Premise aside, the stories are also all really good. There's a wide variety to them. They range from cavewomen to ancient Greece to the Roaring Twenties to Stalinist Russia to Ancient Ireland. And a lot more. There's gay men, lesbians, transgender people, asexuals, agender people, and more. Some stories are about romance, some are about self-discovery. Some are heartfelt and touching, some are just silly fun. There's a lot going on, basically, and it's pretty much all great. A lot of different writing and art styles. If you like positive queer representation, or if you like good comics, this is definitely worth checking out.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    I was hoping to like this more than I did. The anthology manages to include an incredible diversity of trans, lesbian, bisexual, and gay short stories, but I found them to be fairly hit or miss. I had a hard time understanding a few of them, and others resorted to explaining an issue rather than telling a story. There were a few that I enjoyed more than the others, including "Lulu & Diana" by Joamette Gil, and "The Tiger & The Tumbler" by Grace Park.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Skye

    I AM FULL OF BEAUTIFUL QUEER FEELS

  8. 3 out of 5

    Abi (The Knights Who Say Book)

    Real rating is 3.8, or at least that's the average of all the ratings I awarded each story. There was a wide range in quality and enjoyment here, but I don't see the point in copy-and-pasting each of my mini reviews up here, so if you want more details just look in the notes I made while reading. Overall, there were plenty of good comics in here and a handful of truly great ones. It's wonderful to have so many happy lgbtqa+ characters in one book. I especially enjoyed the story Mór Ríoghain (abou Real rating is 3.8, or at least that's the average of all the ratings I awarded each story. There was a wide range in quality and enjoyment here, but I don't see the point in copy-and-pasting each of my mini reviews up here, so if you want more details just look in the notes I made while reading. Overall, there were plenty of good comics in here and a handful of truly great ones. It's wonderful to have so many happy lgbtqa+ characters in one book. I especially enjoyed the story Mór Ríoghain (about a soon to be queen of Ireland), Hold Fast (about two sailors who have a romantic history), Punch Drunk Love (two men finding trouble outside a speakeasy), Emes (a Jewish trans boy coming to America), and Freedom of Expression (two lesbians in the Soviet Union finding each other in the counterculture movement). However, the limited length of each story was often a barrier to my enjoyment, as they had to be either very simple or run the risk of putting too much confusing detail in a small space. The collection also contains many beautiful artworks I did not review. Overall, it's a very nice and aesthetic collection, but I think when I get the next volume I will just buy the pdf rather than feeling the need to own a physical copy.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Macklin

    Cute!!! I love the diversity!

  10. 3 out of 5

    Dylan Benito

    Sweet compilation of queer love stories set throughout history. A great addition to any comic collection.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bäumchen

    Radikal positive queere Kurzgeschichten die in der Vergangenheit spielen. Für dne Zeitvertreib sehr süße Geschichten darunter, leider alle relativ kurz und z.T. auch nur mit angedeuteten Plots.

  12. 3 out of 5

    Inga

    I love the idea of this book, and I had really high hopes for it, but most of the stories are incredibly boring! It feels like it exists for the sake of existing, even though most stories do not contribute much to LGBT fiction. Yes, the authors had a limited page count to fit their stories into, but then, maybe, the book should've had fewer authors? My other criticism is to the illustrations between the stories. They are supposed to represent famous LGBT people in history, but they do not say wh I love the idea of this book, and I had really high hopes for it, but most of the stories are incredibly boring! It feels like it exists for the sake of existing, even though most stories do not contribute much to LGBT fiction. Yes, the authors had a limited page count to fit their stories into, but then, maybe, the book should've had fewer authors? My other criticism is to the illustrations between the stories. They are supposed to represent famous LGBT people in history, but they do not say who the people are, which is a shame. On the other hand, some of the stories are pretty great, and some of the art is marvelous!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cy

    there are a few gems in here. I really liked "the tiger and the tumbler," by grace park, "cast off," by isaac parente, "punch drunk love," by erica chan, and "emes," by lena h. chandhok. I loved the idea of this book, but not all the stories were quality. they didn't all have a narrative and a few felt unfinished. some of the artwork looked sketchy and rushed. but I'm glad this anthology exists. the cover illustration is beautiful. and I thought it was very clever how the stories were arranged c there are a few gems in here. I really liked "the tiger and the tumbler," by grace park, "cast off," by isaac parente, "punch drunk love," by erica chan, and "emes," by lena h. chandhok. I loved the idea of this book, but not all the stories were quality. they didn't all have a narrative and a few felt unfinished. some of the artwork looked sketchy and rushed. but I'm glad this anthology exists. the cover illustration is beautiful. and I thought it was very clever how the stories were arranged chronologically. even though I was a little disappointed, I still look forward to reading volume two.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Fantastic collection. Most of the stories, I want to read more. Any anthology with lady pirates, trans immigrants, and queer heroes is worth a read, but this collection delivers the goods.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    No real standouts.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Emma Johansson

    Kvalitén på vissa av berättelserna är tvivelaktiga och jag hängde inte alltid med på vad som hände, men idén i sig själv är så jävla bra att jag inte kan ge denna ett dåligt betyg. Jag var också imponerad över hur många olika sexualiteter och könsidentiteter de lyckades hantera. Vissa berättelser var bättre än andra, men vad som än har att göra med hbtq historia före 1960-talet är i min bok en vinnare.

  17. 5 out of 5

    L.A.

    Once upon a time people of all genders and sexual preferences lived happily ever after. The end. Or, maybe, the beginning? Zora Gilbert looked around and didn't see a whole lot of queer love stories with happy endings, especially not in historical fiction. Then she decided to do something about it. The result, Dates is an anthology of short comics in which people get to be their true selves AND find true love, be they gay, lesbian, trans, bi, poly, asexual, gender non-conforming, or any other ori Once upon a time people of all genders and sexual preferences lived happily ever after. The end. Or, maybe, the beginning? Zora Gilbert looked around and didn't see a whole lot of queer love stories with happy endings, especially not in historical fiction. Then she decided to do something about it. The result, Dates is an anthology of short comics in which people get to be their true selves AND find true love, be they gay, lesbian, trans, bi, poly, asexual, gender non-conforming, or any other orientation you can imagine. Time periods covered span prehistoric days through Soviet Russia, with a delightful range of settings in-between, including a neat twist on the Beowulf legend. Much to my surprise and delight, even Tesla and his beloved pigeons make an appearance (ace, but definitely not aro). Though there are a number of fantasy settings, the bulk of the tales are set in real-world scenarios that could have played out exactly as they do here. People of color and people with disabilities are represented abundantly, and every single last one of the stories has a happy ending. The artwork spans a wide range of styles and abilities which are, on the whole, pleasing to look at, though near-sighted readers may have problems with some of the font choices. The stories are more romantic than sexy, and the sex scenes that do appear are very sweet/vanilla. In fact, I think the only thing missing from this collection is kink representation, but you just can't hit every single note in one book. Maybe next time, and readers will sincerely hope there is a next time. Recommended for medium-to-large graphic novel collections, particularly in the tri-state area, as Gilbert is a local author/creator.

  18. 3 out of 5

    A.C. Wise

    Dates! An Anthology of Queer Historical Fiction is just what it says on the label – a comics/graphic anthology of queer historical fiction. This project first caught my eye on Kickstarter, and I rushed to back it. In their introduction to the anthology, editors Zora Gilbert and Cat Parra state their mission for the collection – to gather queer stories from across time and around the world, with one important rule: they couldn’t be queer tragedy. They had to show queer people living happy lives, Dates! An Anthology of Queer Historical Fiction is just what it says on the label – a comics/graphic anthology of queer historical fiction. This project first caught my eye on Kickstarter, and I rushed to back it. In their introduction to the anthology, editors Zora Gilbert and Cat Parra state their mission for the collection – to gather queer stories from across time and around the world, with one important rule: they couldn’t be queer tragedy. They had to show queer people living happy lives, having adventures, and being active players in their own stories. The pieces in the anthology more than deliver, though most of them fall more into the realm of vignette or slice of life than full story. Proving the adage that a picture is worth a thousand words, the art speaks volumes and is worth the price of admission alone. There are a wide range of styles on offer here, from whimsical to art-deco and everything in-between. This in an important anthology. We need more happy queer stories, stories where queer folks are front and center, living their own lives rather than sidelined, killed off, or erased. According to their bios, most of the creators are young artists and writers at the beginning of their careers, an that's worth supporting and celebrating too. Dates! is definitely an anthology worth getting your hands on.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    THIS IS QUEER HISTORICAL FICTION WHERE NOBODY DIES AND EVERYONE GETS A HAPPY ENDING. *ahem* so yeaaah these are anthologies of comics and some short fiction that's all historical, all queer, and all happy. I mean, there's conflict and problems and stuff, but nobody dies. It's not tragic. Everyone gets to be happy. And yeah, the quality is a little uneven and the stories are occasionally either confusing or hard to follow, but it's queer historical fiction where nobody dies and everybody gets a hap THIS IS QUEER HISTORICAL FICTION WHERE NOBODY DIES AND EVERYONE GETS A HAPPY ENDING. *ahem* so yeaaah these are anthologies of comics and some short fiction that's all historical, all queer, and all happy. I mean, there's conflict and problems and stuff, but nobody dies. It's not tragic. Everyone gets to be happy. And yeah, the quality is a little uneven and the stories are occasionally either confusing or hard to follow, but it's queer historical fiction where nobody dies and everybody gets a happy ending. I cried a lot. It's great.

  20. 3 out of 5

    Kateri

    The fourth star is just because I felt so thrilled to for the first time, read one of my favorite genres with characters I could relate to. Like, daaaang, emotions. I felt a lot of the stories could have benefitted from a good editor. Some had grammar/spelling errors; others needed a challenge to their story direction. Overall, I feel happier having read this collection, and it's great to just have representation, especially where none of the queer characters die!

  21. 5 out of 5

    The Sapphic Nerd

    Because it's an anthology, the quality of the pieces vary and it's a mix of genres and moods (everything collected here is queer historical fiction), but overall it's a decent read and refreshing to see so many queer happy endings. "The Pinwheel Boy" (part of the bonus comics), "Felix Culpa", "Mór Ríoghain", "Anonymously Yours", and "Punch Drunk Love" are my favourites. Managed to read the whole thing in one sitting too!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Marie Viala

    This was a very nice read, though, as always with this kind of anthologies, I was a bit frustrated to not have more time to get attached to the characters, get to know the context surrounding their story, etc. Was very nice anyway.

  23. 3 out of 5

    Sav

    An abundance of positive and beautiful short works. I backed this project but had forgotten backers would be listed in the acknowledgements, which was a nice surprise and successfully distracted me from the regret of finishing a good book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    This book was totally lovely. My only criticism is that so many of the stories left me wanting more: which is a criticism in the form of a compliment. I loved it. So positive, and diverse, and beautifully rendered.

  25. 3 out of 5

    Megan

    Some of the artwork and stories felt a little hit or miss, but the heart of this anthology was so great that I enjoyed it anyway.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Narrelle

  27. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

  28. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  29. 4 out of 5

    Maria

  30. 3 out of 5

    Kat Trautmann

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