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Harry turtledove king of alt history

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  • #16
    I enjoy all Alt History, including Turtledove all the stories I've read have their charms.
    Eternal War(gaming) Armoured Struggle Car Bob

    History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis.
    Lazarus Long

    Draw the blinds on yesterday and it's all so much scarier....
    David Bowie

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    • #17
      Originally posted by grognard View Post
      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.
      That is a very good point!

      Alternate history means exploring a new and very possible path... preferably with the minimum of improbable coincidences.
      None at all are better still.

      I like learning new things, and how people back then saw the world and did buisness. That is why I liked 1632 so much.


      Oh, I will certainly be giving out information about my book when it gets published... just as soon as I am sure this agent is the right on. So far I have been getting too many form letters, and a request to have a Critique done by someone they know, for a fee.
      Not so sure about this bunch...
      "Why is the Rum gone?"

      -Captain Jack

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      • #18
        I have enjoyed Turtledove's stories and scenarios in his alternate histories, but his knowledge about the actual workings of the military and waging of war is amateurish. The military action in the World War series were cliches from CNN descriptions of capabilities from the Gulf War 1. He had no real feel for the humanity of most members of the military.
        "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
        George Mason
        Co-author of the Second Amendment
        during Virginia’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
          That is a very good point!

          Alternate history means exploring a new and very possible path... preferably with the minimum of improbable coincidences.
          None at all are better still.

          I like learning new things, and how people back then saw the world and did buisness. That is why I liked 1632 so much.


          Oh, I will certainly be giving out information about my book when it gets published... just as soon as I am sure this agent is the right on. So far I have been getting too many form letters, and a request to have a Critique done by someone they know, for a fee.
          Not so sure about this bunch...
          1632 etc can certainly teach us about history, a la any other good historical novel, but it is no more alternate history than Mary Renault's books.

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          • #20
            Turtledove is entertaining but long-winded and repetitive to the point of grade-school memorization. A little less reminding us of something and a little more detail would be fine by me. Like so many other well-known and well-read authors, he caters more toward the common reader, someone who dabbles in alt-history and wants a sci-fi-ish story instead of an alt-history fictional documentary. For lack of a better word, I find him overly simplistic, good, but lacking when you want something that makes you go hmmm... I would say he's a very good starter for those wanting to get into the genre.
            If voting could really change things, it would be illegal.

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            • #21
              Have you read some of his short stories like Islands in the Stream? They certainly are not long winded or grade school level.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                That is a very good point!

                Alternate history means exploring a new and very possible path... preferably with the minimum of improbable coincidences.
                None at all are better still.

                I like learning new things, and how people back then saw the world and did buisness. That is why I liked 1632 so much.


                Oh, I will certainly be giving out information about my book when it gets published... just as soon as I am sure this agent is the right on. So far I have been getting too many form letters, and a request to have a Critique done by someone they know, for a fee.
                Not so sure about this bunch...
                If the agent is offering you a critique for a fee, it's not the right agent. A reputable agent either wants your book or he (or she) doesn't want your book. If they want it, they'll give you a standard percentage rate (10 used to be more common but more and more they're asking for and getting 15) and they'll take your book on. If they don't want it, they'll give you a form letter reply saying "no" and they won't deal with it any further. If you want a critique, I can give you one for free, that's not something you should be paying some agent's friend for.

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                • #23
                  If the agent is offering you a critique for a fee, it's not the right agent.

                  Thanks Alina.
                  I did a quick check on them, and it is a TOTALY bogus agancy.

                  There is a great place called Absolute Write, I recomened it without reservations. Huge site, but still friendly and very accessible.

                  It's a very serious 230,000-word book, with combat scenes that are just as grim as I found the real thing to be. Still want to have a look at it?
                  "Why is the Rum gone?"

                  -Captain Jack

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                  • #24
                    PM sent.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by trebuchet View Post
                      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.

                      Not sure about the fired from the hip business. You ever try and fire a rifle from the hip? Note the biomechanics of the human hand. It is easier to fire a rifle with a traditional stock from the hip than it is with one having a pistol grip.

                      Jacketed bullets are not necessarily 'magic bullets' capable of penetrating trees and buildings just because of the jacketing. There are other factors that come into play. Velocity. Bullet composition. The 5.56mm 62gr FMJ has a steel penetrator. Other FMJs are just lead with a copper jacket. Hunting ammo is the same, except that it often has an exposed lead tip to enhance expansion. Copper is a pretty malleable substance. Every shot fired through a rifle leaves a little bit of copper in the barrel. Clean a rifle barrel with an ammonia based solvent, and you will see it turn blue after you get the carbon fouling out. That is the copper.

                      The AK-47 fires an intermediate cartridge at velocities that I would not call humming. It is comparable to the .30-30. I believe the 124gr ammo I have has a muzzle velocity of 2200fps. Or thereabouts. Contrast that with a .30-06 where the usual factory ammo in 180gr runs at 2600fps. Or a .300 Weatherby Mag with the same 180gr pill moving at over 3000fps.

                      The AK-47's saving grace in the civil war would have been ROF IMHO. The muskets and rifles of the time fired big projectiles. .50 cal pills may have been pushing 700gr. Not sure of the velocity, but when you do the math, the impact energy would be nothing to sneeze at.

                      As to Turtledove, I got into the WWI books for a while, but I am another who feels that they kind of dragged on with excessive verbiage. This coming from one who has read Rise and Fall of the 3rd Reich. I got 2/3 of the way through the second book and stopped. That was over 2 years ago. Haven't picked it back up.
                      1. Even if you could make something idiot proof they would just go out and build a better idiot.
                      2. The road to hell is paved by a hard working asphalt crew of meddlesome legislators.

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