May 25, 2004

Harry Turtledove

In my latest attempt to avoid the depressing reality these stupid people in power have put our country in, I will review another speculative fiction author. Today it's Harry Turtledove, who writes a lot of alternative histories. For example, he has written a series about what would happen if an alien race had tried to conquer the Earth during World War II. This series, like many of his storylines (he's very prolific, I wish I liked his work better) has been expanded past the original four, but I never read further. He has also written a book ("The Guns of the South") about a bunch of white supremacists who go back in time to 1864 and provide the confederacy with AK-47's for every soldier in order to turn the tide of the war (also expanded upon in later books). Both are decently readable, not great. Turtledove is consistently good.

Anyway, my favorite of his is "The Videssos Cycle", about a Roman legion transported to a fantasy world. They become mercenaries for the dominant power, and the four-book cycle follows their adventures (the four books, in order, are "The Misplaced Legion", "An Emperor for the Legion", "The Legion of Videssos" and "Swords of the Legion"). Sort of like Glen Cook's "Black Company", but the characters weren't quite as memorable, so the quality is not quite as good as Cook's original trilogy (it does compare favorably to Cook's later books, though). There is a companion trilogy to this called "The Tale of Krispos" ("Krispos Rising", "Krispos of Videssos" and "Krispos the Emperor"), sort of a prequel to the Videssos books, and it stands well on its own, and there are a few other books set in the same world lately, I believe.

Posted by Observer at May 25, 2004 04:15 PM
Comments

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The only thing of Turtledove's that I've read is "The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump". A pretty good read, even though some of the lines in there are best understood in terms of when it was written (early 90's).

Posted by: Feff on May 25, 2004 11:18 PM

I love Turtledove. Always been a fan of alternate history, especially good ones.

Posted by: Humbaba on May 26, 2004 12:23 AM

I know only 4 admitted Bush voters, and 3 of them have already told me they don't plan to do it again. (My father just grumbled and refused to answer). We might just survive this. Those of us who aren't in the armed forces, that is. I'm still trying to figure out what that "IRR" draft thing actually means.

Posted by: Shamhat on May 26, 2004 06:13 AM