Like most genres of popular literature, science fiction has been slow to present lesbians in a positive light. During the late 19th century and early 20th century, lesbians were entirely unrepresented in science fiction, with homosexuality an act only depraved men engaged in. Which makes Gregory Casparian's The Anglo-American Alliance. A Serio-Comic Romance and Forecast of the Future (1906), the first lesbian science fiction novel, all the more notable.
An Anglo-American Alliance would have been better (and extraordinarily progressive) had Aurora and Margaret lived happily ever after as women, it must be admitted. Nonetheless, An Anglo-American Alliance is the first science fiction novel with a pair of lesbian lovers as heroines, one of whom becomes science fiction's first transgender hero.
What was the first science fiction novel that you ever read? For a long time, the answer to that question, for me, would have been ’s 1953 classic Childhood’s End, which Mr. Miller, back in high school, made us all read for English class. (A very hip teacher, that Mr. Miller!) Upon further reflection, however, it has struck me that I probably read ’s 1864 classic A Journey to the Center of the Earth back in junior high school, and that, going back to late public school, there was the series of books featuring teenage inventor Tom Swift, Jr. Baby boomers may perhaps recall how very popular these books were back when, vying for sales with such other series as THE HARDY BOYS and NANCY DREW. But whereas those other two series continue to be published to this very day, in new editions, the Swift books have (for the moment, anyway) fallen into oblivion.