Harry Turtledove

August 28th, 2005  

Topic: Harry Turtledove

For all you Americans I highly recommend you read his books, all of them are good but his best work is definetly his tails of an America torn apart by a Southern victory in the Civil War.

The series (one stand alone book and three seperate series to date) start with How Few Remain. This book start in the Civil War, you remember the letter found wrapped around three stogies that a Union Soldier found and it contained the entire disposition of Lee's forces in Virginia and Pennsylvania? Well the book starts out with a couple of Confederate soldier stopping the courier and returning the envelope after he had dropped it and the South ultimately wins the war. 20 years later America is at war again, expect this time it is a war against the South (Confederate States of America), Britain and France with Germany as a Neutral observer who America is constantly trying to get on her side. The war ends bad for America, in this book Teddy Roosevelt and the Socialist Party (founded by a disgraced Abraham Lincoln) both start to rise to prominence. (Roosevelt is however a staunch Democrat, these are seperate events.) Supposedly a German military observer, while studying Lee's march into Pennsylvania, gets his idea for the "crescent route" attack on France, trough the low countries and bypassing a large part of France's defenses before taking Paris.

The Great War series is about WWI and how it would be fought was a war between the USA and CSA. I personally have not read this series as I started reading the American Empire series without know that it was a continuation of the Great War series. I do however know that in this series America finally avenges itself after 50 years of defeat after defeat to the Confederates. And General George Custer becomes the Nations hero, along side Teddy Roosevelt, for his use of "barrles" (tanks) to destroy the Confederate defenses and march through Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama.

The American Empire Series is about the 20's and 30's, the Socialist Party is on the rise in America, Jake Featherston (Hitler) joins the Freedom Party in the CSA and soon becomes its leader rising to power and challenging the Whigs who have ruled the South for 70 years, the Republic of Quebec is now independent, Canada is an occupied territory of the US, and Kentucky, Senora (Oklahoma), and Houston (West Texas) are now states in the US, taken from the CSA as a spoils of war along with parts of Northern Virgina. This series sets us up for WWII in a divided North America. Also, a minor war with Japan takes place at this time.

As I already stated, the Settling Accounts series is WWII in an American theatre and I think it has helped me to truly understand how terrible WWII was for those who were caught up in it. Here we see the Blitzkrieg tactics of WWII and how they would most likely be applied in America. I do not want to give away too much about this book, but I will tell you this. This series is very racially sensitive, as you might have picked up by now, Turtledove chooses to mirror European history and apply it to America, which means that instead of a Holocaust against the Jews it is Blacks in the south, the details can be a bit gory at times. This series is a work in progress, the second book came out on August 9th, I am currently on page 493 of 594, and I do not know when the next book is sceduled to come out. But you guys have a lot of reading to do so that is my worry, not yours.