A few months ago, I was at a convention and had the pleasure of being on a panel with Harry Turtledove. We also ended up sitting next to one another during our signing period and in between Harry autographing many copies of his latest book (Supervolcano: Things Fall Apart, the third in his Supervolcano series), I was treated to his wry wit and thoroughly enjoyable conversational style. Naturally, the first thing I did when I returned home from the convention was to send him a note and invite him here to regale you with his most memorable meal.
I’m actually surprised our paths haven’t crossed more, as we both grew up in the greater Los Angeles area (albeit ten years apart). As a teen, my friends and I were regularly riding our bikes out to Westwood and UCLA while elsewhere on campus Harry was working toward his PhD in Byzantine history. Perhaps he hadn’t been lured into the social circles of our genre yet, as I don’t remember seeing him at meetings of the LASFS or the local Mythopoeic chapter. Then again, as I recall my own doctoral years, I didn’t have free time for that sort of thing either.
Like a number of the authors who have been here, Harry has written under multiple names. His first works were published as Eric G. Iverson, but he’s also been Mark Gordian, Dan Chernenko, and H.N. Turteltaub. But it’s for books released under his give name that he was dubbed “Master of Alternate History” as demonstrated by his Southern Victory series in which the South wins the American Civil War (eleven volumes so far, beginning with How Few Remain, which won him his first Sidewise Award), his The War That Came Early series that tells of an alternate version of World War II, and numerous stand alone novels and novellae like Ruled Britannia, The Two Georges (co-authored with Richard Dreyfus), and In the Presence of Mine Enemies.
And that’s not even touching on his works that blend history with SF and Fantasy such as his his YA time travel series Crosstime Traffic, his Civil War with magic War Between the Provinces series, or his Worldwar / Colonization series in which aliens invade during WWII. I could go on and on, but you’ve long since tired of my yammering, so let’s just cut right to Harry’s meal now.