A TRIBUTE TO
HARRY TURTLEDOVE


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This is my tribute to an awesome author and his books that I have read. He specializes in alternate history and fantasy. Read his biography and the reviews of his books below. You can purchase the books by ckicking on the titles or images.


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Harry Turtledove's Biography

Harry Norman Turtledove was born in Los Angeles, CA on 14 June 1949. After failing out of his freshman year at Caltech, he attended UCLA, where he received a Ph.D. in Byzantine history in 1977. His dissertation was on The Immediate Successors of Justinian: A Study of the Persian Problem and of Continuity and Change in Internal Secular Affairs in the Later Roman Empire During the Reigns of Justin II and Tiberius II Constantine (A.D. 565-582).

In 1979, Turtledove published his first two novels, Wereblood and Werenight, under the pseudonym "Eric G. Iverson". Turtledove later explained that his editor at Belmont Towers did not think people would believe the author's real name was "Turtledove" and suggested that he come up with something more Nordic. He continued to use the "Iverson" name until 1985 when he published his "Herbig-Haro" and "And So to Bed" under his real name.

Throughout the later '70's and early '80's, In the 1980's, Turtledove worked as a technical writer for the Los Angeles County Office of Education. In 1991, he left the LACOE and turned to writing full time. From 1986-1987, he served as the Treasurer for the Science Fiction Writers of America.

Turtledove won the HOMer Award for Short Story in 1990 for "Designated Hitter", John Esthen Cook Award for Southern Fiction in 1993 for Guns of the South, the Hugo Award for Novella in 1994 for Down in the Bottomlands. "Must and Shall" was nominated for the 1996 Hugo Award for Best Novelette, the 1996 Nebula Award for Best Novelette and received an honorable mention for the 1995 Sidewise Award for Alternate History. The Two Georges also received an honorable mention for the 1995 Sidewise Award for Alternate History. The Worldwar series received a Sidewise Award for Alternate History Honorable Mention in 1996. On August 1, 1998, Turtledove was named honorary Kentucky Colonel while Guest of Honor at Rivercon XXIII in Louisville, KY.

Biography from Harry Turtledove Website.

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ALTERNATE HISTORY OF THE CIVIL WAR

GUNS OF THE SOUTH

In the war's final months the beaten but not defeated Confederate army is presented with weapons that will alter the course of the conflict- a substantial number of AK-47's. General Robert E. Lee uses these new weapons to great affect against the superior northern armies and eventually wins the Civil War. However the bearer of these super weapons, a mysterious group of men with strange accents, clothes, and customs, demand a heavy price. 'The Guns of the South' is one of the greatest alternate history novels that Turtledove has written, if not the best. Although the time travel aspects of this book do tend to stretch the story's believability, Turtledove nevertheless produces an amazingly thought provoking novel of a triumphant Confederacy. Turtledove's interpretation of Robert E. Lee and other historical figures make this novel worth reading alone. This novel along with Turtledove's other work of Civil War alternate history fiction, 'How Few Remain,' should be read not only by fans of science fiction, but by anyone interested in the people, events, and politics that made up this pivotal time in American history.

by Cody Carlson: Salt Lake City, UT, USA


THE GREAT WAR SERIES

HOW FEW REMAIN

This book is not a sequel to guns of the south, in this book the south wins by normal means, McClellan doesn't get hold of Lee's battle plan for Antietam and loses the engagement, so Lincon doesn't issues the Emancipation Proclamation that changed the whole character of the war. Now France and Britain pressure the US to accept the secession of the Confederacy.

20 years latter the CSA buys the states of Chihuahua and Sonora to the Mexican empire and gain an exit to the pacific ocean along a large strip of border with the US, the new president (first republican after Lincon was thrown out of the white house for loosing the war), threatens to go to war if the sale is not reverted, and so it happens.

But the north has no generals to speak of, their best were expelled of the army after loosing the first war between the states, and the south still has Stonewall Jackson and Jeb Stuart, besides the mormons on Utah are making troubles and Lincon is going around the country with some new ideas picked up from a couple of europeans called Marx and Engel.

by Anonymous from Saltillo, Mexico

AMERICAN FRONT

Harry Turtledove's second multivolume saga of 20th-century "alternative history," American Front, takes place in the world in which the Confederate States win the Civil War and in 1914, allied with England and France, go to war against the United States once more. All the horrors of World War I, such as trench warfare and mustard gas, are present, only this time they're situated in a North American theater of operations where the U.S. fights enemies on both its northern and southern borders while Confederate blacks, studying up on left-wing radicals Karl Marx and Abe Lincoln, prepare for the revolution. As in Turtledove's earlier Worldwar series, the majority of attention is paid to an assortment of people at the battlefields and home fronts, their stories unfolding in gradual increments that, at least so far, only intermittently connect with each other. And there's not as much in the way of "real" historical figures popping up in this first volume of The Great War series, save for cameo appearances by U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt, Confederate president Woodrow Wilson, an aging General Custer, and a handful of others.

by Ron Hogan

WALK IN HELL

Harry Turtledove marches on through history with The Great War: Walk in Hell. In his alternate timeline, the Confederate States of America won the Civil War, aided by Britain and France. In the 1880s (How Few Remain), Americans fought again after the CSA acquired parts of Mexico--and the CSA won again. When WWI begins with Archduke Ferdinand's assassination in 1914 (The Great War: American Front), the 34-state USA under Teddy Roosevelt allies with Imperial Germany and Austria against Britain, France, Russia, Japan, Canada, and Woodrow Wilson's CSA. Trenches divide Canada, fierce fighting rages from Tennessee and Kentucky into Pennsylvania, a Mormon uprising against the USA consumes Utah, and a black socialist rebellion distracts the CSA, where slavery has ended but blacks still await full citizenship.

Walk in Hell takes us from fall, 1915, through 1916. Soldiers, sailors, and airmen continue the fight, but much happens behind the lines too. Turtledove's characters include Jewish immigrants who are socialist and antiwar, a widow running a coffee house in CSA-occupied Washington, D.C., who passes information to the USA, and two Canadian farmers living under U.S. occupation in Quebec and Manitoba. He vividly conveys the human side of war.

Alternate history buffs will marvel at his mastery of detail, enjoy following his logic as he pursues military and social developments onward in time.

by Nona Vero

BREAKTHROUGHS

Turtledove returns to the meat of the action, bringing characters from various storylines together, such as his team up of President Theodore Roosevelt, General George Custer and Major Irving Morrell in Tennessee, and playing them against each other. An ongoing combination of characters is the game of cat and mouse between Roger Kimballís submersible, The Bonefish and George Enosís destroyer USS Ericsson. Incidents such as these play themselves out along the entire twisting line of the Southern and Northern fronts.

For all the military action, the real meat of the story remains in the more personal storylines, whether Anne Colletonís desire for revenge against Cassius and Scipio or the problems caused by distance and the war for Confederate soldier Jefferson Pinkard and his wife, Emily. Turtledove also provides several juxtapositions. Just as Enos is representative of the average Northerner, Pinkard plays the same role in the South. Furthermore, the menís personal stories mirror each other despite one being on a ship in the Atlantic and the other being on the front lines in Texas.

In previous books, the action has tended to bog down a little, giving the reader an indication of the tediousness of the war. In Breakthroughs, as the name suggests, the war begins to liven up and storylines begin to move closer to the denouement. Not only is the war achieving breakthroughs, but the characters are doing so on an individual basis, whether it is Nellie Semphroch attempting to deal with her past or Flora Hamburger, finally taking her seat in Congress.

Seven H. Silver


THE AMERICAN EMPIRE SERIES

BLOOD AND IRON

Turtledove's Great War series morphs into the American Empire series. The U.S and imperial Germany have imposed a "blood and iron" peace on Britain, France, Russia, and the Confederacy. On the western front, the Confederacy struggles to overcome defeat, dissension, and Weimar-level inflation, and the U.S. labors to stay on top of things and prepare for the next round of combat. Indomitable, muddleheaded General Custer has his sails trimmed by the election of Socialist Upton Sinclair as president in 1920, which also makes Turtledove's creation, Flora Hamburger, the wife of the vice-president. In the Confederacy, former artillery sergeant Jake Featherstone founds the Freedom Party. His road to power turns rocky after the crackbrained assassination of President Wade Hampton V, but Ann Colleton escapes the subsequent Freedom Party debacle only slightly damaged and loses her stormy lover when the widow of one of his victims shoots him. Cincinnatus Driver leaves Ohio for the better racial climate of Iowa, and Scipio, married and now named Xerxes, learns that no matter which whites win in the Confederacy, the black man almost always loses. Turtledove's skill at dramatizing historical forces proves magisterial once more.

Roland Green


THE DARKNESS SERIES

INTO THE DARKNESS

After a generation of peace, the world of Derlavai is on the brink of another global war. The earlier war left the Kaunian kingdoms victorious over the Kingdom of Algarve with the result that portions of Algarve were declared independent of the kingdom, most notably the Duchy of Bari. As Into the Darkness opens, the Duke of Bari has died and Algarve has decided to send in the troops to reclaim the sundered land, disregarding the treaties that ended the previous war.

This world is based on a combination of World Wars I and II with a modicum of magic thrown into the mixture. As the world goes to war, a series of alliances are called into play and kingdoms are dragged into the war. These alliances are every bit as complex as those which helped pull all of Europe into World War I in the early part of this century.

Warplanes are replaced by dragons, submarines by leviathans and tanks by behemoths. A series of magical ley lines run throughout Derlavai and the strength of magic available is based on their proximity, just as electrical lines are necessary in our own world. Human sacrifice can function, temporarily, as a ley line when power is needed.

by Steven H Silver

DARKNESS DESCENDING

This is the second book in the Darkness series. Two most powerful nations, Unkerlant and Algarve, are locked in a protracted battle for domination. The smaller countries are divided in their allegiances, and some of them have been conquered by Algarve. The outcome of the war is far from certain. The key to victory may lie in the hands of sorcerers.

The central event is the decision by commanders on both sides to escalate the conflict through genocide. There are clear echoes of the Holocaust. The Algarvians target a minority population -- the Kaunians -- for extermination. The Unkerlanters slaughter their own peasants. But there is more than sheer evil at work here. Both sides are using mass murder to power the sorcery they need to win the war.

History buffs can enjoy "Darkness Descending" for the ingenious way it utilizes historical events. Science fiction and fantasy fans will be intrigued by the way Turtledove blends those genres to produce a world where "technology is indistinguishable from magic."

by L.D. Meagher: Special to CNN.com

THROUGH THE DARKNESS

In this third volume, the struggle enters its critical phase. Events are taking place that will have a major effect on the outcome of the conflict. Algarve (Germany) gears up for a massive assault on Sulingen (Stalingrad). If they can take this strategically-vital city, the material wealth of southern Unkerlant (Russia) will be theirs for the taking. Meanwhile, down in the Land of the Ice People (North Africa), Lagoan (British) and Kuusaman (American) forces struggle to expell the Algarvians, with massive supplies of cinnabar at stake. This valuable mineral allows dragons to shoot their fiery breaths much further, greatly increasing the air power of whoever posesses it. And in Kuusamo itself, government-backed mages continue to plumb the deepest, darkest depths of magic theory. The further their research progresses, the more astonishing- and terrifying- their findings become. Although some are afraid to continue, no one wants to run the risk falling behind Algarve.

All of this is told with Turtledove's usual blend of action, humor, romance, and suspense. And the horror of WWII is never far away: Algarve continues to sacrifice innocent Kaunians in a savage Holocaust, using their life energy to power deadly magical attacks. Against this increasingly terrifying backdrop, the myriad viewpoint characters must fight just to stay alive. In the conquered kingdom of Forthweg (Poland), Ealstan the bookkeeper struggles to keep his Kaunian lover hidden from the prying eyes of the Algarvians. Far to the east, in Valmiera, Skarnu's guerrilla war with the occupying army places his life in increasing danger. Trasone comes face to face with the sheer determination of King Swemmel's (Stalin's) soldiers as he fights for his life in the blasted streets of Sulingen.

If you've read the previous books, don't hesitate to read this one. A gripping and detailed flight of (dark) fantasy, it is a most enjoyable way to spend your leisure time.

by Jeph Gord: Haverford, PA

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