GIRL IN THE ARENA by Lise Haines. Dude, you guys. If you haven't read this, you must.
She made up a fabulous society that looks and breathes like ours. But the past is different, which created a different "now" than what we know. Familiar, but oh so different.
She invented Glads and their history and how it shaped our present. Awesome. And this concept sort of goes with what Angie was talking about a couple of weeks ago. Where if there's an alternate past (Steampunk) that creates an alternate future. Think Back to the Future II and all that Biff craziness.
It's a concept that intrigues me, because sometimes I think we view science fiction and dystopian novels as a future evolving out of our present. And the majority of them are, and they're awesome. But thinking on the other side of that coin is also interesting. What if you could go back in time and change something? What kind of present would we have? What kind of future? Is this kind of novel sheltered under the science fiction/dystopian label?
And hey, just for kicks, if you could go back and change one thing, what would it be? How would that impact our society now?