One thing that's come about as I write and conceive my steampunk tale is where to set the story. Right now, it's an alternate Earth, not yet in the 20th Century, but with steampowered trains as well as airships and other SFnal crafts. Originally, I thought of creating an entirely new land, complete with different names for cities, land masses, and history. Gradually, I've begun to think of creating an alt-Earth with alt-history.
Which do you prefer? Do you like seeing freshly-conceived worlds with new ideas, characters, cities, creatures, etc. Or do you like seeing known historical figures/concepts in a different manner?
As a historian, I'll admit that I tend to prefer the latter, alternate history. I like seeing how authors/filmmakers create interesting "what ifs" in history. I also think alternate history can be easier for the author, to be sure, but also the reader. Abraham Lincoln is pretty much going to be the same no matter what alt-Earth you place him in, right?
Okay, y'all's turn.