Harry Turtledove

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Harry Turtledove at Worldcon 2005 in Glasgow
Harry Turtledove at Worldcon 2005 in Glasgow

Harry Norman Turtledove (born June 14, 1949), is a historian and prolific novelist who has written historical fiction, fantasy, and science fiction works. He is probably the best-known and most popular author of the genre of alternate history.


Life of Harry Turtledove

Turtledove was born in Los Angeles, California to a Jewish family. After flunking 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 (AD 565582).

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 Tower did not think people would believe the author's real name was "Turtledove" and came 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. Another early pseudonym was "Mark Gordian." Turtledove has recently begun publishing historical novels under the pseudonym "H.N. Turteltaub" (taube means dove in German).

Throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s, 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 19861987, he served as the Treasurer for the Science Fiction Writers of America.

He is married to mystery and SF writer Laura Frankos. His brother-in-law is fantasy author Steven Frankos. Turtledove won the Homer Award for Short Story in 1990 for "Designated Hitter," the John Esten Cook Award for Southern Fiction in 1993 for The 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. In 1998, the novel How Few Remain won the Sidewise Award for Alternate History. He won his second Sidewise Award in 2003 for the novel Ruled Britannia. On August 1, 1998, Turtledove was named honorary Kentucky Colonel while Guest of Honor at Rivercon XXIII in Louisville, Kentucky.

Turtledove served as the toastmaster for Chicon 2000, the 58th World Science Fiction Convention.

List of Books and Series


The Videssos Books

Fantasy series about a world that is analogous to the Byzantine Empire.

  • The Legion Series
    • The Misplaced Legion (1987)
    • An Emperor for the Legion (1987)
    • The Legion of Videssos (1987)
    • The Swords of the Legion (1987)
  • The Tale of Krispos Series
    • Krispos Rising (1991)
    • Krispos of Videssos (1991)
    • Krispos the Emperor (1994)
  • The Time of Troubles Series
    • The Stolen Throne (1995)
    • Hammer and Anvil (1996)
    • The Thousand Cities (1997)
    • Videssos Besieged (1998)

Worldwar & Colonization Series

Sci-Fi/Alternate History — Aliens invade in the middle of World War II

  • Worldwar Tetralogy
    • In the Balance (1994)
    • Tilting the Balance (1995)
    • Upsetting the Balance (1996)
    • Striking the Balance (1996)
  • Colonization Trilogy
    • Second Contact (1999)
    • Down to Earth (2000)
    • Aftershocks (2001)
  • Homeward Bound (2004)

The Southern Victory Series

Alternate History — The South have won the US Civil War, what would then happen over the next century.

Darkness Series

A fantasy series about a world war between nations using magic as weapons. Many of the plot elements are analogous to elements of World War II, while the writing style is similar to his Southern Victory.

  • Into the Darkness (1999)
  • Darkness Descending (2000)
  • Through the Darkness (2001)
  • Rulers of the Darkness (2002)
  • Jaws of the Darkness (2003)
  • Out of the Darkness (2004)

War Between the Provinces Series

  • Sentry Peak (2000)
  • Marching Through Peachtree (2001)
  • Advance and Retreat (2002)

Sostrates & Menedemos Series

A historical fiction series about two cousins who are traveling merchants in the fourth century BC Mediterranean. The novels were written under the H.N. Turteltaub pseudonym.

  • Over the Wine-Dark Sea (2001)
  • The Gryphon's Skull (2002)
  • The Sacred Land (2003)
  • Owls to Athens (2004)

Crosstime Traffic Series

  • Gunpowder Empire (2003)
  • Curious Notions (2004)
  • In High Places (due in 2006)

Days of Infamy Series

Alternate History — The Japanese have gained the initiative in the Pacific War by invading and occupying Hawaii.

  • Days of Infamy (2004)
  • End of the Beginnings (due in 2005)

Stand-alone Books

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