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Harry turtledove king of alt history

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  • Harry turtledove king of alt history

    Is any body hear a fan of Harry Turtledoves book. got to be the best alt history author out there.

  • #2
    Not only no, but Hell no.

    Turtledove is long winded, frequently spending triple the amount of time setting the scene as he does exploiting it.
    He is a socialist who seems to think that every story centers around socialism, and even turned Lincoln into one.

    HIs books have casts of thousands and are divided up into choppy little chapters, and these series of his never seem to have a conclusive ending.

    He also seems to have Southern sympathies... and yet also goes to great lengths to demonstrate his sympathies with Black Americans.

    He displays good technical understanding of some weapon systems, but little imagination or cleverness in their actual use.

    Sorry, I wasted too much time on a couple of his books. Not a fan.
    "Why is the Rum gone?"

    -Captain Jack

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
      Not only no, but Hell no.

      Turtledove is long winded, frequently spending triple the amount of time setting the scene as he does exploiting it.
      He is a socialist who seems to think that every story centers around socialism, and even turned Lincoln into one.

      HIs books have casts of thousands and are divided up into choppy little chapters, and these series of his never seem to have a conclusive ending.

      He also seems to have Southern sympathies... and yet also goes to great lengths to demonstrate his sympathies with Black Americans.

      He displays good technical understanding of some weapon systems, but little imagination or cleverness in their actual use.

      Sorry, I wasted too much time on a couple of his books. Not a fan.
      Who is your candidate?

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      • #4
        I agree that Turtledove holds the crown because he's done so much alternate history--The order 191 series, the Japanese taking the Hawaiiian Islands series and numerous short stories--from Charlemagne becoming Muslim (Islands in the Stream) to alternate Byzantium etc. etc.

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        • #5
          I loved the first World War series - there was one moment in the 2nd or 3rd book where I was sat in a restaurant reading and suddenly one of the main characters was killed - it was totally unexpected and really sudden and this chill ran down my back that this character, in whom I had invested so much time, was gone forever. It's moments like that which remind me how much I love books - and surprises in fiction (a similar event happened this week in Torchwood but I'll say no more...).

          However...I did get annoyed with the constant repetition that the aliens who had invaded Earth in the middle of WWII were surprised that we had evolved and adapted our technology so quickly - I mean, sometimes it was mentioned every other chapter. Yeah Harry, we get it, now stop trying to inflate your word count and move along.

          Dr. S.
          Imagine a ball of iron, the size of the sun. And once a year a tiny sparrow brushes its surface with the tip of its wing. And when that ball of iron, the size of the sun, is worn away to nothing, your punishment will barely have begun.

          www.sinisterincorporated.co.uk

          www.tabletown.co.uk

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
            He displays good technical understanding of some weapon systems, but little imagination or cleverness in their actual use.
            Not really. While I quite enjoyed The Guns of the South, Turtledove totally missed the most important aspect of modern rifles like the AK-47: It's not the rate of fire; it's the fact that jacketed bullets will penetrate trees and buildings that lead Minié balls will not. What served as cover from Civil War weaponry would be totally inadequate against modern rifle ammunition.

            Certainly rate of fire is useful, but we shouldn't forget AK-47s were designed to be fired from the hip during massed human wave attacks. Most of those extra bullets would be aimed at nothing but dirt and sky.
            Go is to chess as philosophy is to double-entry bookkeeping. - Nicholaï Hel in Shibumi

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            • #7
              I would say that Turtledove is best know. A lot of his fans (like me), consume his stuff & love it. But like music & art, books are extremely personal for people loving or hating them. Exorcist is certainly entitled to his opinion, but I don't think you can find another author out there whose books consistently make the NYTimes Bestseller list. Personally, I like his characters & his chapters. Not everything he writes is pure gold, but I enjoy most of his stuff a lot. Other folks whose names could be thrown in the pot:

              SM Stirling
              Harry Harrison
              John Birmingham
              Peter G. Tsouras
              William Forstchen
              Eric Flint
              Phillip K Dick
              H.G Wells

              A lot of horror writers could be thrown in there as well.....their visions of an altered future or past is centered around something bad happening (zombies, plague, vampires, etc).
              The muffled drums sad roll has beat the soldier's last tatoo. No more on life's parade shall meet that brave and fallen few.

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              • #8
                Turtledove is Ok, I think I classify him as I did the Games workshop books.

                Some low end reading that passes the time as long as you don't think too hard.
                Winnie says
                ---------------------------------
                "He fell out of a Gestapo car, over a bridge, and onto a railway line. Then was run over by the Berlin Express.

                It was an Accident."
                Herr Flick.

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                • #9
                  Robert Conroy should also be on that list Hellboy30 his books 1901,1962, and 1945 are really good. And Although William Forstchen Lost Regiment sires is really more science fiction than alt history its still a really enjoyable read. I've yet to read his civil war or Pacific war sires but I'm looking forward to it.

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                  • #10
                    S M Stirling is leagues ahead of Turtledove. Stirling's books have a depth that is unmatched by other authors. The "Islands in the Sea of Time" (trilogy) is great, "Dies the Fire" (trilogy) is just as good and "Conquistador" is riveting.

                    Turtledove is prolific but not as engaging.
                    Last edited by The Purist; 16 Feb 08, 12:29.
                    The Purist

                    Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

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                    • #11
                      Flint gets my vote, I loved 1632.
                      Say what you will, it was a happy book... a serious rarity these days.

                      And by the way... I may have just found an agent for my own Atl. History book

                      Wish me luck!
                      "Why is the Rum gone?"

                      -Captain Jack

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                        S M Stirling is leagues ahead of Turtledove. Stirling's books have a depth that is unmatched by other authors. The "Islands in the Sea of Time" (trilogy) is great, "Dies the Fire" (trilogy) is just as good and "Conquistador" is riveting.

                        Turtledove is prolific but not as engaging.
                        I agree, Gerry. I like Turtledove's work, but it's not nearly as well done as Sterling, or even Flint. Try Stirling's Draka series for grit and characters that you can really understand and care about. Even the bad guys.

                        Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                        Flint gets my vote, I loved 1632.
                        Say what you will, it was a happy book... a serious rarity these days.

                        And by the way... I may have just found an agent for my own Atl. History book

                        Wish me luck!
                        Flint is one of my favorite authors. His collaboration with David Drake on the Belisarius series is possibly the best alt history I've read.

                        Best of luck on your book, Exorcist. Let us know when we can check out a copy.
                        All questions are valid, all answers are tentative.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                          S M Stirling is leagues ahead of Turtledove. Stirling's books have a depth that is unmatched by other authors. The "Islands in the Sea of Time" (trilogy) is great, "Dies the Fire" (trilogy) is just as good and "Conquistador" is riveting.

                          Turtledove is prolific but not as engaging.
                          I disagree, I find Tutrtledove more engaging most of the time.
                          The best Stirling is one you didn't even mention--The Draka series.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kentek View Post
                            Flint is one of my favorite authors. His collaboration with David Drake on the Belisarius series is possibly the best alt history I've read.
                            While I loved the Belesarius series too, I think it's more properly considered as straight sci-fi than as alternate history. Time-travelling sentient computers seem just a bit outside the parameters of alternate history.

                            Flint's 1632 (a favorite of mine) seems to be closer to real alternate history, at least if one ignores the sci-fi basis of their temporal displacement at the beginning.
                            Go is to chess as philosophy is to double-entry bookkeeping. - Nicholaï Hel in Shibumi

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                            • #15
                              Temporal displacement and Aliens are science-fiction, not alternative history, so Turtledove's Guns of the South doesn't count any more than the 1632 series or the Belsiarius series.

                              True alternative history posits a legitimate option and then looks at the consequences--no temporal displacement or aliens needed.

                              Stirling's Draka, and Turtledove's Order 191 do qualify.

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